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Preexisting Gerd before and after Sleeve



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Posted (edited)

Hi everyone,

Im new here as this is my second post in 2 days. I have a question regarding GERD. Im 32 been pretty much overweight all my life and the small time (about 10 years ago) when i was in great shape, i did not suffer from gerd. I also have a small hiatal hernia that may or may not need to be repaired. I do not take medicine for the Gerd, it really doesn't bother me to be honest.

I have been reading that preexisting GERD prior to the sleeve can worsen. So much so, that many times the surgeon will suggest a revision to the bypass.

The bypass scares the life out of me and i just dont want to do it. No disrespect to bypass patients, But I rather not surgery than get a bypass

Studies can only show you so much and Id really like to hear some of your first hand experiences. Did it get worse, Better, same? Also, did any of you get the LINX installed? If so, howd did that go?

Edited by MasR

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Well, from my experience, developing or worsening GERD after the sleeve is on a case-by-case basis.

While there are some studies out there that indicate GERD suffers have a higher incidence of GERD or worsening GERD after the sleeve, there are similar studies showing the risk of developing or worsening GERD is negligible.

A good friend and associate of mine had a lap band and got GERD so bad that she developed Barrett's esophagus. Her surgeon did a sleeve on her and her GERD is all but gone and the Barrett's resolved.

Me, I also had a lap band and suffered from reflux the entire time (later I found that my band was slipped, but that's a whole other post). I DIDN'T have any signs of chronic reflux when I went to the SAME doctor but was warned that there are risks of GERD. Cutting to the chase, we decided that the risk was minimal and I had the sleeve. About a month or so after surgery, I started getting heartburn. This heartburn was easily remedied by PPIs. However, I still suffer from flare-ups of esophagitis (long term inflammation from GERD) and take Carafate. I also practice A LOT of lifestyle modifications to reduce my symptoms.

Currently, my GI doc and I are investigating long term management. He mentioned the LINX system, but I don't want anything implanted in my body (I didn't have a good response to the lap band and its components). SO...there's another procedure that uses radio waves to thicken the lower esophageal sphincter. It's called stretta. I'm planning on doing the Stretta procedure. My insurance has denied and I've exhausted my appeals. Right before the COVID-19 crisis started, we were in discussions for cash payment. So, we're on hold right now. My symptoms are actually pretty good right now, so it's not urgent or anything. BUT, I don't want to be on PPIs for the rest of my life and I'm DARN TIRED of sleeping on a 12-inch wedge.

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I wouldn’t say it’s worse or better post sleeve but it’s different. I think eating small meals regularly has helped so the acid in my stomach doesn’t build up as much. I used to get that horrible taste in my mouth often now hardly ever. My hiccups are nowhere near as debilitating as they were (nice not to have pulled muscles after an attack). I have noticed on occasions a slight burning in my throat at night which I never had before. Think an additional Nexium at night may help with that.

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I can totally relate to your fears. My gerd was so bad presurgery, but bypass was not going to be one of my options. I wanted the sleeve. My heartburn was terrible right after the surgery, the heartburn pills helped tremendously! Then I changed my diet drastically, to mainly plant based. My gerd will flare up if I eat too fast...sometimes that damn tofu scramble just gets me all excited 😆 Also I am very careful to allow about 45 min to an hour before and after my meals before drinking anything. The longer I wait the better off I am. I don’t take any heartburn meds now.

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I had reflux pre-surgery due to an undiagnosed hiatal hernia. They found that during my EGD and repaired it during surgery. I’ve had zero issues with reflux post surgery. I think it might depend on why a person has GERD to begin with. If it’s hernia caused, it will likely not return due to the hernia being fixed. If you don’t have a hernia and have GERD I suspect it would be an issue post sleeve. The first is a mechanical issue (hernia) the second is something else (usually not enough enzymes, eating too much, etc).

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There's not much option then unfortunately

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it's sort of a crap shoot - some sleevers have GERD issues, others don't. I went with bypass because I didn't want to take the risk of mine getting worse, but I know some people plow ahead with the sleeve regardless. And some do end up not having issues. Good luck to you!

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I had GERD repair surgery done at the same time as my sleeve.

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