Safety and effectiveness of antireflux surgery in obese patients

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INTRODUCTIONThe incidence of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and obesity has increased significantly in recent years. The number of antireflux procedures being carried out on people with a higher body mass index (BMI) has been rising. Evidence is conflicting for outcomes of antireflux surgery in obese patients in terms of its safety and efficacy. Given the contradictory reports, this meta-analysis was undertaken to establish the outcomes of antireflux surgery (ARS) in obese patients and its associated safety.METHODSA systematic electronic search was conducted using the PubMed, MEDLINE®, Ovid®, Cochrane Library and Google Scholar™ databases to identify studies that analysed the effect of BMI on the outcomes of ARS. A meta-analysis was performed using the random effects model. The intraoperative and postoperative outcomes that were examined included operative time, conversion to an open procedure, mean length of hospital stay, recurrence of acid reflux requiring reoperation and wrap migration.RESULTSA total of 3,772 patients were included in 13 studies. There was no significant difference in procedure conversion rate, recurrence of reflux requiring reoperation or wrap migration between obese and non-obese patients. However, both the mean operative time and mean length of stay were longer for obese patients.CONCLUSIONSARS in obese patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is safe and outcomes are comparable with those in patients with a BMI in the normal range. A high BMI should therefore not be a deterrent to considering ARS for appropriate patients.

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