Radiologic, endoscopic, and functional patterns in patients with symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2018 Jun;14(6):764-768. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2018.02.028. Epub 2018 Mar 8.


Background: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is considered the gold standard in treatment of morbid obesity and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Resolution of GERD symptoms is reported to be approximately 85% to 90%.

Objective: To evaluate patients with persistent GERD symptoms after RYGB and to identify contributing factors.

Setting: University hospital, cross-sectional study.

Methods: Data of patients evaluated for persistent GERD with a history of RYGB between January 2012 and December 2015 were reviewed. GERD was assessed with questionnaires, endoscopy, 24-hour pH-impendance manometry, and barium swallow.

Results: Of 47 patients, 44 (93.6%) presented with typical GERD, 18 (38.3%) with obstruction, 8 (17%) with pulmonary symptoms, and 21 (44.7%) with pain. The interval between RYGB and evaluation was a median of 3.8 years (range .8-12.6); median patient age was 36.5 years (19.1-67.2). Median body mass index was 30.3 kg/m2 (20.3-47.2). Pouch gastric fistulas were seen in 2 (5.1%), enlarged pouches in 5 (10.6%), and hiatal hernias in 25 patients (53.2%). Twelve (23.4%) had esophagitis>Los Angeles (LA) grade B. Manometry was performed in 45 (95.7%) and off-proton pump inhibitor 24-hour pH-impedance-metry in 44 patients (94.6%). Seventeen patients (37.8%) had esophageal hypomotility or aperistalsis; hypotensive lower esophageal sphincter was seen in 26 patients (57.8%). Increased esophageal acid exposure (>4% pH<4) was found in 27 (61.4%), an increased number of reflux episodes (>53) in 30 patients (68.2%). Symptoms were deemed as functional in 6 (12.8%).

Conclusion: The evaluation for persistent GERD after RYGB revealed a high percentage of hiatal hernias, hypotensive lower esophageal sphincter, and severe esophageal motility disorders. These findings might have an influence on hiatal hernia closure concomitant with RYGB and the role of pH manometry in the preoperative bariatric assessment.

Keywords: Adults; Esophageal motility disorders; Esophageal pH; Functional disorder; Gastric acid; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Hiatal hernia; Manometry; Roux-Y gastric bypass.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Esophageal Motility Disorders / complications
  • Female
  • Gastric Bypass*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / surgery*
  • Hernia, Hiatal / complications
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Intraoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Obesity, Morbid / physiopathology
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Young Adult