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GERD After Bypass Surgery: Causes, Complications, Treatment

Gastric bypass, or the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), is a sort of bariatric or weight reduction surgical procedure. It’s executed to advertise weight reduction and handle weight problems.

Obesity will increase your danger of gastroesophageal reflux illness (GERD). GERD causes acid reflux disorder, which occurs when the contents of your abdomen circulate again into your esophagus.

In folks with GERD, gastric bypass surgical procedure can assist. But typically it may well make GERD extra extreme.

Let’s discover the hyperlink between GERD and gastric bypass and the way it compares with different weight reduction surgical procedures.

The decrease esophageal sphincter (LES) is a hoop of muscle discovered on the backside of your esophagus. It connects your esophagus to your abdomen.

Normally, the LES stays closed to guard your esophagus from the acidic contents of your abdomen. When you eat, it opens to let meals move by way of.

But if the LES is weak or different elements are current, it’d let the contents circulate again into the esophagus. This could cause acid reflux disorder, additionally referred to as gastroesophageal reflux.

GERD happens when acid reflux disorder is persistent. You may be extra more likely to expertise GERD if in case you have chubby or weight problems.

Gastric bypass is the most typical weight reduction surgical procedure. It entails dividing the abdomen right into a small higher pouch and a big decrease pouch. The small gut is then divided and linked to each. This creates a “Y” form.

The surgical procedure impacts GERD as a result of it alters the next elements:

  • stress on the LES
  • acid manufacturing
  • your esophageal reflux

According to a 2020 review of studies, gastric bypass seems to be the best surgical procedure for GERD signs. Thus, it’s essentially the most advisable weight reduction surgical procedure for folks with extreme GERD.

In a small 2020 study, researchers examined the prevalence of GERD after completely different weight reduction surgical procedures. This included gastric bypass and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), or gastric sleeve surgical procedure.

They discovered that GERD was extra more likely to have an effect on individuals who acquired gastric sleeve surgical procedure in contrast with those that acquired gastric bypass.

Similarly, in line with a 2017 comparative study, gastric sleeve surgical procedure is related to an elevated want for GERD medicines in contrast with gastric bypass.

A gastric bypass surgical procedure can enhance GERD in a number of methods:

  • lowering acid manufacturing into the small higher pouch
  • lowering esophageal reflux (as a result of “Y” form of the rearranged organs)
  • lowering publicity to abdomen acid within the esophagus
  • growing how briskly the contents within the higher pouch are emptied
  • selling weight reduction
  • lowering stomach stress on the LES (as a consequence of a smaller abdomen and weight reduction)

But gastric bypass may not resolve GERD in everybody.

According to a 2014 review of studies, a 2002 research assessed adjustments in GERD signs following RYGB. Of 152 individuals who participated within the research, 64 p.c reported vital enchancment of GERD signs at 12-month follow-up.

According to the researchers, this may be as a result of gastric pouch being too giant, inflicting steady acid manufacturing. In different circumstances, the rearranged organs would possibly trigger bile to circulate backward.

GERD might also be affected by different forms of weight reduction surgical procedures:

Sleeve gastrectomy

In a sleeve gastrectomy, or gastric sleeve surgical procedure, about 80 percent of the abdomen is eliminated. This makes the scale and form of the abdomen just like these of a banana.

The surgical procedure is easier than different forms of weight reduction surgical procedure. But it may well trigger or worsen GERD.

Like the research above, a small 2020 study discovered that having a gastric sleeve is related to GERD. A 2017 study additionally discovered that having a gastric sleeve will increase the necessity for GERD medicines.

According to a 2021 review, 84.1 p.c of individuals with GERD nonetheless had it after gastric sleeve surgical procedure. What’s extra, 44 p.c of individuals skilled extra acid reflux disorder 18 months after the process.

A 2021 study additionally decided that as much as 40 p.c of people that obtain a gastric sleeve develop GERD.

The increased price of GERD after receiving a gastric sleeve could also be associated to:

  • diminished LES stress
  • diminished abdomen quantity
  • diminished gastric emptying
  • slim form of the abdomen

Adjustable gastric band (AGB)

An AGB, additionally referred to as a gastric band or lap band, is a silicone system that’s positioned across the higher abdomen. It makes the abdomen smaller, which reduces the quantity of meals you may eat.

According to a 2020 review, the gastric band has combined outcomes with GERD.

The evaluate notes that after the surgical procedure, GERD signs decreased from 33.7 p.c to 7.7 p.c. At the identical time, 15 p.c of individuals studied developed GERD after the surgical procedure.

According to the researchers, the position of the band would possibly promote GERD signs by growing stress.

Treatment for acid reflux disorder or GERD after gastric bypass entails the standard remedy for each situations.

A health care provider would possibly suggest:

Lifestyle adjustments

Lifestyle adjustments are key for treating GERD. This could embody:

  • shedding weight or sustaining a reasonable weight
  • elevating your head on additional pillows throughout sleep
  • avoiding meals no less than 3 hours earlier than bedtime
  • quitting cigarette smoking, in case you smoke (this may be troublesome, however a physician can construct a cessation plan that works for you)
  • consuming a balanced food plan
  • limiting meals or drinks, reminiscent of carbonated drinks, that make your GERD signs worse


The first-line medicines for acid reflux disorder and GERD are proton pump inhibitors. These medicine work by lowering acid manufacturing in your abdomen.

A health care provider may additionally suggest:

  • Antacids. Antacids neutralize the acid in your abdomen.
  • H2 blockers. H2 blockers work by lowering acid manufacturing.
  • Prokinetic brokers. Prokinetic medicine strengthen the contractions of your LES, in addition to the muscle tissue the in your digestive tract.


If way of life adjustments and medicines fail to manage your GERD, you would possibly want surgical procedure. This consists of gastric bypass (RYGB) in addition to:


Fundoplication entails stitching the higher abdomen across the backside of your esophagus. This will increase stress on the LES, which reduces acid reflux disorder.

This process is the most typical surgical procedure for acid reflux disorder and GERD.

LINX surgical procedure

This surgical procedure entails a hoop of metallic beads. The beads are linked by a magnet.

The ring is implanted round your decrease esophagus, the place it closes the LES. This prevents the abdomen contents from flowing again into the esophagus.

When you swallow, the beads separate so meals can transfer by way of.

Stretta process

This process entails an endoscope, or a versatile tube with a lightweight and digicam at one finish, fitted with a software that delivers thermal vitality. This emits a radiofrequency, which strengthens the LES.

Without remedy, GERD can result in:

After gastric bypass surgical procedure, it’s vital to observe up with a physician. This will permit them to test for adverse outcomes and make sure you’re therapeutic correctly.

See a physician in case you discover new or worsening GERD signs, reminiscent of:

You also needs to get medical assist if in case you have:

These signs could point out adverse outcomes associated to gastric bypass.

If you could have GERD and wish weight reduction surgical procedure, gastric bypass may be the only option. This process can assist relieve GERD by lowering acid manufacturing, stomach stress on the decrease esophagus, and esophageal reflux.

Other weight reduction surgical procedures, reminiscent of gastric sleeve and gastric band surgical procedure, would possibly trigger or worsen GERD. However, the most suitable choice relies on your GERD signs and underlying medical situations. A health care provider can decide whether or not gastric bypass is best for you.

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