, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 565-570
Date: 15 Oct 2008

The Effect of Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass on Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Morbidly Obese Chinese Patients

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The prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is increasing in Eastern and Western countries. Obesity is recognized as a risk factor of gastroesophageal reflux disease. However, little information is available on the prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease in morbidly obese Chinese patients. The aim of this study was to compare the prevalence of GERD in Chinese patients with morbid obesity and age- and sex-matched controls, and we also assessed the effect of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass on reflux symptoms and erosive esophagitis.


Between November 2006 and February 2008, 150 morbidly obese Chinese patients underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Gastroesophageal reflux disease questionnaires and esophagogastroduodenoscopy results were assessed in all cases before surgery. The prevalence of reflux symptoms and erosive esophagitis was compared with the prevalence in a database of 300 age- and sex-matched controls. We also compared baseline and postoperative characteristics at 12 months after operation.


Patients with morbid obesity had higher frequencies of reflux symptoms (16% vs. 8%, P = 0.01) and erosive esophagitis (34% vs. 17%, P < 0.01) than those of controls. Twelve months after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, 26 patients received follow-up evaluations. In addition to substantial weight loss, the prevalence of reflux symptoms and erosive esophagitis decreased significantly after operation (19.2% vs. 0%, P = 0.05, and 42.3% vs. 3.8%, P < 0.01, respectively).


Gastroesophageal reflux disease is pervasive in Chinese patients with morbid obesity and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass substantially improves not only the reflux symptoms but also the erosive esophagitis.