, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 72-76

Esophageal Motility and Reflux Symptoms Before and After Bariatric Surgery

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Background: Surgical treatment is the most effective method for weight reduction in morbid obesity. The most common operations are gastric banding and gastric bypass. The effect of these interventions on esophageal function and gastroesophageal reflux symptoms has not been adequately investigated. Methods: Patients undergoing obesity surgery were prospectively included in an observational study. Before surgery, each of the 53 patients underwent pulmonary function tests, esophageal manometry, and gastroscopy. Drug medication and esophageal symptoms were recorded. "Non-sweet eater" patients with good compliance underwent laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB). In "sweet-eating" or non-compliant patients, gastric bypass (GBP) was carried out. Results: Between July 1997 and April 2000, 53 patients (9 males and 44 females) were consecutively operated on. 32 patients (median BMI 46.4 kg/m2 ±5.4 SD) received LAGB, and 21 patients (BMI 54.0 kg/m2 ±10.7) GBP. Median follow-up was 22 months, and only 3 patients were lost to yearly follow-up. Preoperatively, 6 LAGB patients had reflux symptoms, which postoperatively resolved in 3 of them, while the other 3 noted no change. Three patients who had no preoperative reflux symptoms developed them after LAGB. In the GBP group, no patient had esophageal dysmotility or incompetent esophageal sphincter function pre- or postoperatively. The incidence of postoperative esophageal symptoms was independent of operative technique (Wilcoxon U-Test: p= 0.75). Conclusion: The present results do not show any effect of gastric reduction surgery on postoperative esophageal function or gastroesophageal reflux symptoms.