Much of the clinical and research activity of members of the Swallow Foundation involves patients with benign (non-cancer) oesophageal and stomach disease. In particular patients with severe gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) or large hiatus hernias require surgery. Patients with symptoms of GORD such as heartburn, food and acid regurgitation or airways disease that is not responding to medication require surgery to tighten the valve at the bottom of the oesophagus. This is called a fundoplication. Patients with GORD are at a higher risk of developing Barrett’s oesophagus (a pre-cancerous condition) or oesophageal cancer than the general population. Much of our research involves issues around GORD, Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal cancer.”
“Patients with large hiatus hernias may develop severe and unpleasant symptoms. A large hiatus hernia occurs when much of the stomach herniates into the patient’s chest. This may result in oesophageal or gastric obstruction, chest pain or breathing difficulties. Surgery is almost always required to ameliorate these symptoms. Much of our research involves improving techniques for treating large hiatus hernias.
Obesity is becoming an ever increasing problem in Western society and results in many people in diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnoea and a number of other medical conditions that decrease quality of life and life expectancy. Patients who are obese are at a higher risk of developing GORD and oesophageal cancer than the general population. Much of our research involves surgical treatment of obesity