Ask a Digestive Surgeon: Dr Foo Chek Siang from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore

Ask a Doctor ForumCategory: General SurgeryAsk a Digestive Surgeon: Dr Foo Chek Siang from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore
dr. Foo Chek Siang asked 2 years ago
I have had a double fellowship as part of sub-specialist training. I was trained in advanced laparoscopic techniques under the pupilage of Dr. Jean-Louis Dulucq at the Institute of Laparoscopic Surgery in Bordeaux, France. Dr. Dulucq is distinguished among the foremost laparoscopic gastrointestinal surgeons in Europe with a wide repertoire of advanced upper gastrointestinal, hepatobiliary and colorectal operations under his belt. I was then awarded the Health Manpower Development Programme Award by the Ministry of Health in 2008, and spent a year in St. George Hospital, Kogarah-Sydney, New South Wales, Australia under the pupilage of Dr. John Jorgensen, Dr. Michael Talbot and Dr. Ken Loi. My repertoire in advanced laparoscopy, and in particular upper gastrointestinal and bariatric work was further honed with the vast spectrum and high volume of complicated oncological (cancer), functional, bariatric (weight loss surgery) and metabolic work. I have been actively teaching in advanced laparoscopic techniques, being involved in faculties of local masterclasses and the regional Asia Endosurgery Task Force, sharing my experience and encouraging the adoption of advanced surgical techniques among the surgeons in South East Asia and wider East Asia. It is my belief that minimal access surgery is the now and future of surgical treatment, providing greater surgical precision and better results with faster recovery and better patient comfort, without any compromise in surgical efficacy. My expertise lies in abdominal and digestive surgery, applying the techniques of minimal access surgery to treat conditions of the digestive tract – be it in the upper gastrointestinal tract (oesophagus, stomach and duodenum), lower gastrointestinal tract (small and large intestine), hepatobiliary tree (liver and gallbladder) or abdominal wall conditions like abdominal and groin herniae. I have significant experience and training in radical oncological surgery, applying the techniques of systematic extensive lymphadenectomy in oesophageal and stomach cancer. I am a proponent of radical lymphadenectomy especially in the context of stomach cancer, combined with a joint management with medical oncology, for the best possible long-term control of disease and overall survival. I also have a deep passion for bariatric (weight loss) and metabolic (diabetic and related conditions) surgery. With the rising epidemic of obesity and increasing recognition of its related illnesses like diabetes, heart diseases and cancer, I am convinced that obesity is a true medical condition that can be successfully overcome with surgery. I also advocate surgery to help patients who are battling worsening and uncontrollable weight-related metabolic disorders like diabetes, hyperlipidaemia (high cholesterol), fatty liver, gout and obstructive sleep apnoea. Recognising obesity as a medical, and not just a cosmetic, disease, I believe that while surgery provides the best possible results for weight and metabolic control, a multi-disciplinary approach is the catalyst for sustained long-term results. I am a founding member and currently-serving committee member of the OMSSS (Obesity & Metabolic Surgery Society of Singapore), contributing to the work of like-minded local-regional surgical professionals. Learn more about Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital here: Learn more about me here: I am excited to be here to share/discuss Digestive Health with everyone. Whether you've got questions about oesophageal and gastric cancers, bariatric or metabolic surgeries, ask me anything! === Want to ask a question? Submit your question at the bottom of this page. Don’t forget to include your name and email address to get notified when the doctor answers your question.
29 Answers
Coki answered 2 years ago
Doctor, my epigastrium hurts if I eat spicy food or drink coffee. I didn’t have this problem back then. So why do I have it now?
dr. Foo Chek Siang replied 2 years ago

These symptoms sound like gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. These can be aggravated by consuming larger than normal quantities of triggering foods (of which coffee and spice belong). Symptoms can also be aggravated by lying down right after a full meal.

I would suggest going on smaller meals and consider taking some antacids for now. If these symptoms recur or persist, then it will be time to consider seeking advice from an endoscopist.

Minarti Sulastika answered 2 years ago
Doctor, I have a problem with gastric acid. I have been taking sucralfate, vometa. After taking these medicines, I feel better, until the problem recurs. Is it safe to consume these medicines on a long term basis? Or is there any other way to cure my gastric acid issue permanently?
dr. Foo Chek Siang replied 2 years ago

If these medications work but the symptoms return, it goes to suggest there is an underlying issue that has not been fully addressed. I would strongly recommend seeing a specialist to get an endoscopy performed.

Neli answered 2 years ago
Doctor, my mother is 70 years old, and she often has gastric pain that radiates through her back. Her gall has been removed. She complains about pain below the navel. She consumes controlog, motilium, lansaprazole. What problem is this, Doc? What is the best treatment? Thanks
dr. Foo Chek Siang replied 2 years ago

There are a few possibilities of problems that cause pain that travels to the back – including gastric ulcers, pancreas problems and bile duct stones (which can still occur after the gallbladder is removed). She should get it evaluated by a specialist with an endoscopy and scan.

romi answered 2 years ago
Doctor, what is the cause of pain on the lower right stomach and the problem of releasing gas?
dr. Foo Chek Siang replied 2 years ago

Releasing gas is a natural process, but the frequency can be influenced by diet and disturbances in the balances of gut bacteria. The built up of intestinal gas can also cause abdominal discomfort and bloating. However, if it is pain you are feeling, you should be seeking a medical opinion especially if it is persistent.

Verdi answered 2 years ago
These 3 days I have been feeling a cramp in my right stomach, Doctor. Sometimes it doesn't feel that painful, but sometimes it hurts so much I cannot move. Is this possibly appendicitis? What are the symptoms of appendicitis actually?
dr. Foo Chek Siang replied 2 years ago

Right sided abdominal pain can be caused by a variety of causes, of which appendicitis is fairly common. However, the pain from appendicitis is normally progressive and unremitting, and are associated with fever and nausea.

If the pain is intermittent, coming and going, it is very unlikely to be appendicitis.

Tan Ying answered 2 years ago

My stomach is often bloated even hours after my meals. I do feel slight nausea after eating but I don't actually throw up. I took the advice of a friend and tried eating more acidic fruits like oranges to get rid of the nausea and it does work temporarily for 2-3 days. However I'm looking for something more permanent. Would you recommend I take certain medications or see a doctor?

dr. Foo Chek Siang replied 2 years ago

Hi there, it is a good idea to seek professional medical help. In your case, where the discomfort is persistent, I would suggest getting a gastroscopy to further investigate.

Edmund answered 2 years ago

Doctor, do you have any suggestions on how I can relieve the pain I am feeling in my upper abdomen? That area is also slightly bulging and red, and it feels like a tender lump. Previously I only felt the pain when I skip meals or have my meals late. However, these days the pain comes at night even when I’m sleeping with a full stomach or in the afternoons after lunch. The pain sometimes comes with dizziness. How do I know if this is something I need to be worried about?

dr. Foo Chek Siang replied 2 years ago

Hi there, sounds like it could be either related to gastric ulcers or gallstones, given that the symptoms are persistent and meal-related. I would suggest seeking a consultation with a gastrointestinal specialist.

William answered 2 years ago

I had removal surgery for a stomach tumor two years ago. Since then I have been trying to eat healthily. But why do I feel an abnormal fullness and pain in my stomach again, similar to how I felt when I was diagnosed with the tumor? I haven’t checked in with a doctor because I am afraid. I am 57 years old.

dr. Foo Chek Siang replied 2 years ago

You should actually head back to your doctor for a check. There are treatment options available and you should not be afraid.

Annie Loh answered 2 years ago

My 47 year old husband used to be a heavy drinker. He stopped drinking three months ago when he had to take medications for severe gastric reflux. He’s currently taking a break from his medications. However, when he stopped, he threw up and the color of the vomit was quite dark. Is this a normal symptom of his reflux or is it indicative of something more serious?

dr. Foo Chek Siang replied 2 years ago

Has your husband had a gastroscopy to investigate his reflux previously? If not, then it should be done after a consultation with your specialist. If it had been done, then it depends on what the results of the scope was. It is concerning that his vomitus was dark as it might indicate bleeding from oesophagitis.

Jiahui answered 2 years ago

There is a small bulge on my upper abdoment right below my ribs. When I touch it, I can feel a tender bump. I also often feel nauseated and will sometimes throw up. I also feel extremely gassy and has difficulty releasing the gas. What condition could this be and what treatment should I consider?

dr. Foo Chek Siang replied 2 years ago

If you can feel a tender bump on the abdominal wall, it is unlikely to be the cause of gassiness in the abdomen. I would still recommend that the lump be checked out by a doctor. Gassiness of the abdomen could be due to gastritis and should be seen in a medical consultation.

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