At Minimally Invasive and Bariatrics Surgery (MIB), we strive to provide our patients with a complete understanding of the benefits as well as the side effects and complications each of the procedures we offer entail. Some life-saving bariatric surgeries, like gastric sleeve surgery, can cause Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
Reflux After Bariatric Q & A
What is GERD?
In a healthy body, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES)—the muscle that enables food to enter and stay in the stomach—stops food from coming back up into the esophagus, located right before the stomach in the digestive tract. When someone has GERD, the LES does not close properly after food travels through the esophagus. This allows acid from the stomach to travel back up through your digestive tract, causing pain and discomfort. People who have GERD also feel a burning chest pain otherwise referred to as “heartburn.”
- Acid reflux symptoms:
- Pain in the chest
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- Burping frequently
If you have had a bariatric procedure and are experiencing these symptoms, please contact your doctor right away.
Why bariatric surgery can worsen GERD?
Large, heavy meals are often the culprit of acid reflux. Because bariatric surgery reduces the size of a patient’s stomach, the less food a patient’s stomach can process at a given time, the more likely acid reflux is to occur. In cases like these, acid reflux can be prevented by eating slower, taking the time to chew, and controlling the portion of their meal. It will take some time to adjust to the lessened sensation of appetite and fullness. In some cases, your doctor can provide medication for acid reflux.
If you have a history of acid reflux, your doctor will recommend a weight-loss surgery that will be less likely to worsen the effects of your GERD. Be sure to discuss all your medical conditions with your doctor during your consultation.
Each bariatric surgery has benefits and risks associated with them. You can find each of the procedures we offer at Minimally Invasive and Bariatrics Surgery on our website and we encourage you to register for a consultation today to discuss your options with one of our experienced team members. Achieving a healthy weight is possible!