Increased Esophageal Exposure to Weakly Acidic Reflux 5 Years After Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

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Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate the long-term effects of laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (LRYGB) on gastroesophageal function.

Background:

LRYGB is considered the weight loss procedure of choice for obese patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, long-term instrumental evaluations of GERD after LRYGB are not available.

Methods:

Morbidly obese patients selected for LRYGB were included in a prospective study. We performed clinical evaluation with GERD-HRQoL questionnaire, upper endoscopy, esophageal manometry, and 24-hour impedance pH (24-hour MII-pH) monitoring preoperatively and at 12 and 60 months after surgery. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (no. NCT02618044).

Results:

From May 2006 to May 2009, 86 patients entered the study and 72 (84%) completed the 5-year protocol. At preoperative 24-hour MII-pH monitoring, 54 patients (group A) had normal values, whereas 32 (group B) had diagnosis of GERD: 23 had acidic reflux, whereas 9 had combined reflux [acidic + weakly acidic reflux (WAR)]. The groups were similar in preoperative age, body mass index, and comorbidities. At 12 and 60 months, significant improvement in questionnaire scores was observed in group B patients. No manometric changes occurred in both groups; 24-hour MII-pH monitoring showed a significant reduction in acid exposure, but an increase of WAR in both group A (from 0% to 52% to 74%) and group B (from 35% to 42% to 77%). At long-term follow-up, esophagitis was found in 14 group A (30%) and in 18 group B patients (69%) (P < 0.001).

Conclusions:

LRYGB allows to obtain an effective GERD symptom amelioration and a reduction in acid exposure. However, 3 out 4 patients present with distal esophagus exposure to WAR.

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