Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common condition which is often aggravated by obesity. Several reports have suggested that gastric banding can further aggravate or even cause reflux.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of gastric banding on the symptoms of acid reflux/GERD.
All patients with a significant history of acid reflux/GERD, and who had a gastric band placement over a 2-year period were evaluated to assess any change in their reflux symptoms. In all, there were 48 (16%) of 274 patients with a history of significant reflux oesophagitis requiring regular treatment pre-operatively. Following gastric banding, a total resolution of symptoms occurred in 36 (76%) of patients, an improvement was seen in 7 (14%), no change was present in 3 (6%), and a worsening of symptoms in 2 cases (just 4%).
The authors conclude that rapid and major improvement in acid reflux/GERD symptoms occurs in the vast majority of patients following gastric band surgery.