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Obes Surg. 2006 Nov;16(11):1469-74.

Does gastric banding for morbid obesity reduce or increase gastroesophageal reflux?

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Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Vasa Central Hospital, Vasa, Finland.



Conflicting results regarding the influence of laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) on gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) have been published.


A prospective follow-up study was conducted in 31 patients (male/female 5/26, mean age 44 +/- 11 SD years) with 24-hour pH and manometry recordings, symptom assessment, and upper GI endoscopy.


Total number of reflux episodes decreased from a mean value of 44.6 +/- 23.7 SD preoperatively to 22.9 +/- 17.1 postoperatively (P=0.0006), after a median follow-up time of 19 months (range 7-32 months). Total reflux time decreased from 9.5% +/- 6.2% to 3.5% +/- 3.7%, P=0.0009, and DeMeester score decreased from 38.5 +/- 24.9 to 18.6 +/- 20.4, P=0.03. Symptomatic patients decreased from 48.4% preoperatively to 16.1% postoperatively (P=0.01), medication for GERD decreased from 35.5% to 12.9% (P=0.05), and the diagnosis of GERD on 24-hour pH recordings decreased from 77.4% to 37.5% (P=0.01). There were no pouch enlargements seen on upper GI endoscopy. Esophageal motility was unchanged, but 36% of the patients had incomplete relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter following the operation (P<0.0001). Mean BMI decreased from 46.0 +/- 5.46 to 38.4 +/- 6.45 (P<0.0001), excess weight from 60.0 kg +/- 18.58 kg, 44.9% +/- 6.56% to 38.4 kg +/- 20.27 kg, 28.4% +/- 10.97% (P<0.0001). No association between the postoperative diagnosis of GERD and the amount of weight loss could be found.


The correctly placed gastric band is an effective anti-reflux barrier in the short term. Long-term results have to be awaited.

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