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Obes Surg. 2013 Jun;23(6):736-9. doi: 10.1007/s11695-013-0956-5.

Is routine preoperative upper GI endoscopy needed prior to gastric bypass?

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Hatanpää City Hospital, PL 437, 33101, Tampere, Finland.



In Finland, upper GI endoscopy (UGI) prior to bariatric surgery is routine in all but one hospital performing bariatric surgery. However, UGI is an unpleasant investigation for the patient and requires resources. Helicobacter pylori (HP) can be tested from blood and cannot be considered as an indication for UGI. We wanted to identify the most common findings in UGI and see if the findings influenced the decision to operate or if they even canceled the operation.


We evaluated retrospectively the data of 412 patients undergoing preoperative UGI in Vaasa Central Hospital in the years 2006-2010.


UGI was considered normal in 191 (55.8 %) patients. The most common findings were hiatal hernia in 25.4 % (n = 87); gastritis, 13.7 % (n = 47); and esophagitis, 13.2 % (n = 45). Also benign polyps, 6.7 % (n = 23), and ulcers, 2.9 % (n = 10), were detected. One 0.5-cm esophageal leiomyoma was found, but no malignant lesions. Histology was found normal in 185 (54.1 %) patients. HP was found in 12.0 % (n = 41) of patients.


In this study, all the findings were benign and mild. The findings did not influence the operative plan. The most common findings were hiatal hernia and esophagitis which may be considered contraindications for sleeve gastrectomy, but not for gastric bypass. Our results do not support the performance of routine preoperative UGI prior to gastric bypass.

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