Digestive Health

digestive healthThe Digestive Health Clinic at Ross Hall Hospital provides screening and treatment for digestive health conditions including Barrett’s oesophagus and chronic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.

The clinic is led by Prof. Grant Fullarton, Consultant Upper GI Surgeon.

It has been argued that Barrett’s Oesophagus is the most important identifiable risk factor in oesophageal adenocarcinoma (gullet cancer). This can occur as a result of chronic acid reflux (heartburn with more than 3 to 4 episodes per week) where stomach acid backs up into the oesophagus causing damage to the oesophageal lining potentially progressing to cancer. Until recently, Barrett’s patients have traditionally undergone a lifetime of ‘wait and see’ monitoring with regular endoscopic examinations to detect any progression to more severe stages of the disease or to cancer.


Until recently, Barrett’s Oesophagus could only be detected by endoscopy however; we now offer the Cytosponge cell collection device, a new innovative way to detect the condition in at risk patients, leading to early stage treatment and cancer prevention.

The Cytosponge is a capsule containing a soft, compressed mesh sponge, attached to a fine string. It can detect changes in the cells lining the oesophagus and diagnose Barrett’s Oesophagus more simply and comfortably compared to endoscopy.

The capsule is swallowed by the patient and after several minutes, a small, soft sponge emerges from the capsule. The sponge is then gently removed by pulling on the string in a smooth, quick motion. As the sponge is pulled up and out it collects cells from the lining of the oesophagus. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes.

We are pleased to be the only hospital in Scotland able to offer the Cytosponge cell collection device. It is covered by most insurance companies or can be on a self-pay basis. Please check your cover details with your insurer directly.









A revolutionary new procedure, called the HALO treatment, can now help treat Barrett’s sufferers. The significance of HALO was published in the New England Medical Journal which shows that the treatment can reduce the risks of developing oesophageal cancer in high-risk cases by more than 90%.  The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) approved this therapy in 2010.

The HALO system is available at BMI Ross Hall Hospital and is delivered by Consultant General Surgeon, Prof. Grant Fullarton who piloted the technique in Scotland and runs the Digestive Health Clinic within the hospital. The treatment delivers a pre-set amount of radio frequency heat energy to the oesophageal lining through a catheter balloon, completely removing the diseased tissue without damage to the normal underlying structures. The procedure is done in an outpatient setting using conscious sedation, involves no incisions and has a procedure time of less than 45 minutes. New healthy tissue replaces the ablated Barrett’s tissue in three to four weeks for most patients.


For patients suffering from chronic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), Professor Fullarton offers the LINX™ reflux management system, designed to stop reflux at its source.

The main group of patients suitable for the LINX™ procedure are those with mild to moderate reflux disease. Mild cases often have symptoms of heartburn, chest pain and/or regurgitation which can be well controlled on standard medication, however being a chronic condition this needs to be taken regularly for long periods, often indefinitely. Moderate cases have more significant symptoms often with night-time reflux and/or atypical symptoms such as throat discomfort, asthma or cough with only partial control with full dose medications.

The LINX™ reflux management system allows the surgeon to place a small, flexible band of interlinked titanium beads with magnetic cores around the oesophagus. The magnetic attraction between the beads keeps the LOS closed to prevent reflux, while opening during swallowing and to allow for release of elevated gastric pressures, such as belching and vomiting. The surgery is performed laparoscopically and is reversible. (Source: Torax Medical Inc).


Iain Wallace from Glasgow was diagnosed with Barrett’s Oesophagus and underwent treatment with the non-surgical HALO radiofrequency ablation system.

"When I heard about this treatment from America, I said OK let’s do it. I had the procedure carried out at BMI Ross Hall Hospital and today I feel great."

"My condition affected the whole family and without the HALO procedure, it is a waiting game, and that can cause huge anxiety for those close to you. It has been a huge learning experience for me.  Whenever I speak to anyone who suffers from heartburn, the first thing I tell them is that they should get it checked out.  After all, you just don’t know if there’s a serious problem unless you see your doctor."

To find out more about any of our digestive health services please call 0141 810 3151 or make an online enquiry here.