Acid reflux occurs when acids and food that belong in the stomach tracks back up into the oesophagus due to muscle weakness in the top of the stomach.
Causes of acid reflux include:
If you experience acid reflux more than twice a week, it may be a sign of GERD.
GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. The main symptom of GERD is persistent heartburn. The stomach acid can be very damaging to the oesophagus, which can be very painful and cause further issues.
Bariatric surgery is often used to relieve GERD symptoms. However, if there is a complication from the bariatric surgery, GERD may worsen after the surgery. You must notify your doctor if this is the case.
Up to 20% of patients will develop reflux after gastric sleeve surgery. There are many reasons for this; the surgery itself causes some disruption to the mechanisms that prevent reflux. For example, gastric sleeve surgery decreases the pressure at the junction where the stomach joins the oesophagus. The pressure in the stomach increases as the stomach size is reduced. Therefore, there is more pressure pushing acid upwards, and the muscles keeping it down are weakened, making acid reflux more common.
After bariatric surgery, acid reflux can also be associated with surgical complications such as hiatus hernia or dilated gastric fundus of the sleeve gastrectomy. In lap band surgery, there can be slippage of the band or oesophageal dysfunction.
Ultimately, there can be many reasons behind your acid reflux after bariatric surgery, so it is essential to consult with your surgeon if the reflux is persistent.
It is crucial to figure out exactly what is causing the reflux. We do this by specialised tests like gastroscopy and barium swallow. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, then are many treatment options.
Treatment options include:
Reflux can be a symptom of many different issues. However, it is very treatable and easy to manage with the right approach.
If you are experiencing reflux, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with our highly experienced team. Give us a call on 08 6155 8822 or book an appointment online.
Mr. Siva Gounder is the director and head of Perth Weight Loss & Surgery. With more than 15 years surgical experience, Mr. Gounder is fully trained and qualified to provide bariatric surgery in Perth that helps treat obesity. This includes gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, sips surgery, duodenal switch operation and revisional surgery.