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Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2020 Jan 2. doi: 10.4103/sjg.SJG_165_19. [Epub ahead of print]

The utility of esophagogastroduodenoscopy and Helicobacter pylori screening in the preoperative assessment of patients undergoing bariatric surgery: A cross-sectional, single-center study in Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Internal Medicine, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Surgical Oncology, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and Helicobacter pylori screening are routine parts of the preoperative assessment of patients undergoing bariatric surgery at many centers around the world. The reason for this step is to identify abnormalities that may change the surgical approach. In this study, we aim to evaluate the extent to which endoscopic findings and H. pylori testing affect the plan of care in bariatric patients.

Patients and Methods:

We retrospectively reviewed the investigational processes of 356 patients planned for bariatric surgery (2014-2016) at our center. Patients were categorized into two main groups (4 subgroups) from endoscopic findings. One group included patients with normal EGD and patients who had abnormal findings that did not change the surgical approach, whereas the other included patients who had findings that changed or canceled the surgical plan. A logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate how strongly can factors such as patient demographics, BMI, comorbidities, symptomatology, and H. pylori status predict the risk of having plan-changing endoscopic abnormalities.


The ages ranged between 15 and 66 years with a mean ± SD of 37 ± 11 years, and 56% were females. The majority of patients (75%; 95% CI: 73 - 82%) had either no findings (41%) or had abnormalities that did not change the surgical approach (34%). Only 25% (95% CI: 21-29%) were found to have pathologies that altered the surgical approach, and 0.6% of them had findings that were considered contraindications for surgery. In spite the relatively high prevalence of H. pylori in our cohort (41%; 95% CI 36-46%), the proportion of patients who had plan-changing abnormalities did not differ markedly from other studies. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and obstructive sleep apnea symptoms were the only significant predictors of EGD findings (P = 0.009).


GERD and sleep apnea symptoms can be strong predictors of EGD abnormalities. However, this evidence is still not enough to safely recommend changing the current practice. Therefore, until a sensitive clinical prediction score is derived and validated according to the symptoms, we suggest that EGD should continue as the standard of care in all patients undergoing bariatric surgery.


Bariatric surgery; Helicobacter pylori; esophagogastroduodenoscopy; preoperative assessment

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