Innovative Heartburn Health Check available for eligible patients

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We are running a Heartburn Health Check that diagnoses abnormalities in the oesophagus (or food pipe) more easily.

The new test aims to spot abnormalities in the oesophagus and detect a condition called Barrett’s oesophagus, which can put patients at a slightly higher risk of developing oesophageal cancer in the future.

Heartburn Health Checks are being provided for patients that meet all of the following criteria:

  • Over the age of 50
  • Have been suffering from recurring heartburn and acid reflux
  • Have been taking Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) for six months or more
  • Have no existing Barrett’s diagnosis / are not already under the care of secondary care for oesophageal symptoms.

If you are eligible for a Heartburn Health Check, the practice will contact you via text message or letter. You will be provided with a detailed patient information leaflet that provides more information about the check and what will happen at your appointment. This will be followed by a phone call from one of our nurses to answer any queries you may have and to book the appointment, should you wish to have it.

The health check involves swallowing a capsule attached to a piece of strong, thin thread. The capsule dissolves after a few minutes to release a small sponge that will gather oesophageal cells as it is removed from the oesophagus. The test is conducted by specially trained nurses and takes around ten minutes to complete. This is quicker and less invasive than an endoscopy, which is usually conducted in a hospital. More information is available in this short video.

If you are attending the practice for a Heartburn Health Check, you must not eat for four hours prior to your appointment.

Following completion of the test, results are expected within 14 working days. The practice will contact patients to advise of test results.