Reflux Symptoms Increase Following Sleeve Gastrectomy Despite Triage of Symptomatic Patients to Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

Parth Patel, Paul Hobbs, Benjamin D. Rogers, Michael Bennett, Shaina R. Eckhouse, J. Chris Eagon, C. Prakash Gyawali

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1 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: Bariatric surgical options in obese patients include sleeve gastrectomy (SG) and roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), which may not be equivalent in risk of postoperative reflux symptoms. We evaluated risk and predictive factors for postbariatric surgery reflux symptoms. Methods: Patients with obesity evaluated for bariatric surgery over a 15-month period were prospectively followed with validated symptom questionnaires (GERDQ, dominant symptom index: product of symptom frequency and intensity from 5-point Likert scores) administered before and after SG and RYGB. Esophageal testing included high-resolution manometry in all patients, and ambulatory reflux monitoring off therapy in those with abnormal GERDQ or prior reflux history. Univariate comparisons and multivariable analysis were performed to determine if preoperative factors predicted postoperative reflux symptoms. Results: Sixty-four patients (median age 49.0 years, 84% female, median BMI 46.5 kg/m2) fulfilled inclusion criteria and underwent follow-up assessment 4.4 years after bariatric surgery. Baseline GERDQ and dominant symptom index for heartburn were significantly higher in RYGB patients (P ≤ 0.04). Despite this, median GERDQ increased by 2 (0.0 to 4.8) following SG and decreased by 0.5 (−1.0 to 5.0) following RYGB (P = 0.02). GERDQ became abnormal in 43.8% after SG and 18.8% after RYGB (P = 0.058); abnormal GERDQ improved in 12.5% and 37.5%, respectively (P = 0.041). In a model that included age, gender, BMI, acid exposure time, and type of surgery, multivariable analysis identified SG as an independent predictor of postoperative heartburn (odds ratio 16.61, P = 0.024). Conclusions: Despite preferential RYGB when preoperative GERD was identified, SG independently predicted worsening heartburn symptoms after bariatric surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 19 2022


  • bariatric surgery
  • gastroesophageal reflux
  • high-resolution manometry
  • pH-impedance monitoring


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