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Gastroesophageal reflux disease and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy: a physiopathologic evaluation.

Annals of Surgery 2014 November
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) on gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in morbidly obese patients.

BACKGROUND: Symptomatic GERD is considered by many a contraindication to LSG. However, studies evaluating the relationship between LSG and GERD by 24-hour pH monitoring are lacking.

METHODS: Consecutive morbidly obese patients selected for LSG were included in a prospective clinical study. Gastroesophageal function was evaluated using a clinical validated questionnaire, upper endoscopy, esophageal manometry, and 24-hour pH monitoring before and 24 months after LSG. This trial is registered with (no. NCT02012894).

RESULTS: From June 2009 to September 2011, a total of 71 patients were enrolled into the study; 65 (91.5%) completed the 2-year protocol. On the basis of preoperative 24-hour pH monitoring, patients were divided into group A (pathologic, n=28) and group B (normal, n=37). Symptoms improved in group A, with the Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Symptom Assessment Scale score decreasing from 53.1±10.5 to 13.1±3.5 (P<0.001). The DeMeester score and total acid exposure (% pH<4) decreased in group A patients (DeMeester score from 39.5±16.5 to 10.6±5.8, P<0.001; % pH<4 from 10.2±3.7 to 4.2±2.6, P<0.001). Real "de novo" GERD occurred in 5.4% group B patients. No significant changes in lower esophageal sphincter pressure and esophageal peristalsis amplitude were found in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS: LSG improves symptoms and controls reflux in most morbidly obese patients with preoperative GERD. In obese patients without preoperative evidence of GERD, the occurrence of "de novo" reflux is uncommon. Therefore, LSG should be considered an effective option for the surgical treatment of obese patients with GERD.

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