Medical Q&As

Reflux in infancy - same as adults?

Last week on Open House you had a question from a lady with a reflux problem. My 3-month-old son has the same problem. I was told it was a simple procedure and he would only be kept in hospital for 1 day. You said on the TV programme that 4 to 5 days hospitalisation would be required. Is it different for babies? He also has to get an EEG done. Can you explain this because I didn’t think of these questions while at the hospital?

During last week’s programme I dealt with a query regarding keyhole surgery in an adult with reflux. I am not sure that your son and this lady have exactly the same problem because the causes of reflux in infants and adults can be different. There are several causes for reflux. It is not clear from your question if your baby is undergoing a diagnostic procedure or a surgical procedure. I am assuming on the basis of the child’s age that the procedure is for diagnostic purposes and will allow the doctors to assess the degree of reflux. In that case the child would only need to be in hospital for one day. As a general rule infants do not require as long a hospital stay as adults do for similar procedures. Despite their apparent vulnerability infants can be remarkably robust and can make a very speedy recovery from surgery and general anaesthetics. The second part of your question relates to your child having an ECG. The ECG is simply a routine procedure prior to receiving the anaesthetic. Its purpose is to establish that the child is medically fit to undergo the procedure.