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Obes Surg. 2009 Jul;19(7):905-14. doi: 10.1007/s11695-009-9845-3. Epub 2009 May 8.

The effect of laparoscopic adjustable gastric bands on esophageal motility and the gastroesophageal junction: analysis using high-resolution video manometry.

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  • 1Centre for Obesity Research and Education, Monash University, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, 3004, Victoria, Australia.



Laparoscopic adjustable gastric bands (LAGB) are a safe and effective treatment for obesity. Conflicting data exist concerning their effect on the esophagus, gastroesophageal junction, and mechanism of action. These patients will increasingly require accurate assessment of their esophageal function.


Twenty LAGB patients underwent high-resolution video manometry with the LAGB empty, 20% under, 20% over, and at their optimal volume. Twenty obese controls were also studied. Effects on esophageal motility, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), and the gastroesophageal junction were measured. Transit during liquid and semisolid swallows was assessed.


The intraluminal pressure at the level of LAGB was a mean of 26.9 (19.8) mm Hg. This pressure varied depending on the volume within the LAGB and was separate to and distal to the lower esophageal sphincter LES. The LES was attenuated compared to controls (10 vs 18 mm Hg; p < 0.01) although relaxed normally. Esophageal motility was well preserved at optimal volume compared to 20% overfilled, with 77% normal swallows vs 51%, p = 0.008. Repetitive esophageal contractions were observed in 40% of swallows at optimal volume compared to 16% in controls, p = 0.024. In comparison to controls, the transit of liquid, 21 vs 8 s (p < 0.001), and semisolids, 50 vs 16 s (p < 0.001), was delayed.


In LAGB patients, the LES is attenuated, although relaxes normally. Esophageal motility is preserved, although disrupted by overfilling the band. In the optimally adjusted LAGB, a delay in transit of liquids and semisolids through the esophagus and band is produced, along with an increase in repeated esophageal contractions.

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