Esophagogastric cancer after bariatric surgery: systematic review of the literature

Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2013 Jan-Feb;9(1):133-42. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2012.10.002. Epub 2012 Oct 12.


Background: Because the number of patients with a previous bariatric procedure continues to rise, it is advisable for bariatric surgeons to know how to manage the rare event of the development of an esophagogastric cancer. The aim of the study was to perform a systematic review of all reported cases of esophagogastric cancers after bariatric surgery.

Methods: Systematic review of English and French written literature in MEDLINE and EMBASE database.

Results: Globally, 28 articles describing 33 patients were retrieved. Neoplasms were diagnosed at a mean of 8.5 years after bariatric surgery (range 2 months-29 years). There were 11 esophageal and 22 gastric cancers; although adenocarcinoma represented most cases (90.6%), a tubulovillous adenoma with high-grade atypia, an intramural gastrointestinal stromal tumor, and a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of the gastric fundus were also reported. Node involvement was reported in 14 cases, and distal metastases in 5. The most frequently reported symptoms were dysphagia and food intolerance, vomiting, epigastric pain, and weight loss. Surgery was performed in 28 patients, although 4 underwent only chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy and 1 received palliative care. Reported mortality rate was 48.1%.

Conclusions: To date, it is not possible to quantify the incidence of esophagogastric cancer after bariatric surgery because of the paucity of reported data. Nevertheless, because the main concern is the delay in diagnosis, it is of critical importance to carefully evaluate any new or modified upper digestive tract symptom occurring during bariatric surgery follow-up.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bariatric Surgery / adverse effects*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / surgery*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology