Gastric Bypass Surgery Eases GERD in the Obese

Also helps patients lose weight, improves other health problems

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MONDAY, Nov. 15, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Gastric bypass surgery controls symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in morbidly obese people who've had previous anti-reflux surgery, says a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center study in the November issue of Obesity Surgery.

The gastric bypass surgery also helps these patients lose weight and improves associated health problems such as sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension, depression, degenerative joint disease, and lower extremity edema.

The small study included seven patients who had laparoscopic gastric bypass after they'd already had anti-reflux surgery to control GERD, which affects up to 40 percent of adults in the United States.

"Despite a morbidity rate of 42.8 percent, this study showed that all patients did well, with zero mortality, and were satisfied with their condition during the follow-up period, suggesting that the long-term outcome of laparoscopic gastric bypass in obese patients who had previous anti-reflux surgery is promising," principal author Dr. Ioannis Raftopoulos, an assistant professor of surgery in the division of thoracic and foregut surgery, said in a prepared statement.

"There also was a significant improvement of GERD symptoms following the laparoscopic gastric bypass, which was maintained during follow-up," Raftopoulos said.

The study also found that 70 percent of the patients' other medical conditions either improved significantly or were resolved following the gastric bypass surgery.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about GERD.

SOURCE: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, news release, Nov. 15, 2004

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