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Post-Sleeve Gastrectomy Reflux

Incidence of the development of reflux as a late complication after sleeve gastrectomy (SG) is being reported at much higher rates than expected. A meta-analysis of the current available evidence concluded after review of the existing studies that there is a trend toward increased prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) after SG.1 In a national analysis of bariatric surgery patients from 2007 through 2010, patients undergoing SG and roux en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) were compared. The analysis found preexisting GERD in 44.5% of SG patients and 50.4% of RYGB patients. Postoperatively, 84.1% of SG patients had persistent GERD, while 62.8% of RYGB patients’ GERD resolved.2

It is OmniSure’s recommendation to always procure specific, informed consent for bariatric surgery procedures. These discussions should include the following:

  • Specific risks of surgery
  • Alternatives to surgery
  • Anticipated outcomes (i.e., expected weight loss)
  • Risks of late-term nutritional deficiencies
  • Risk of psychiatric and emotional complications
  • Other conditions that may arise (dumping syndrome, loose skin, etc.)
  • Recommendation to refrain from attempting pregnancy for at least three years

Review your consent forms and consider adding a section to include a discussion of the risk that GERD may appear or worsen after SG, potentially even warranting further surgical treatment.

Include the discussion of this in your educational programs as well.

If you have any questions or concerns or would like to discuss post-sleeve gastrectomy reflux with your OmniSure consultant, please contact us at (800) 942-4140 or

1 Oor, J. E., Roks, D. J., Ünlü, Ç., & Hazebroek, E. J. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and gastroesophageal reflux disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Surg. 2016;211(1):250–267.
2 Dupree, C. E., Blair, K., Steele, S. R., & Martin, M. J. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy in patients with pre-existing gastroesophageal reflux disease: A national analysis. JAMA. 2014;149(4):328–334.

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