Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is probably the main drawback of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG). Herein, we critically discuss the issue and report the results of the first international consensus conference held in Montpellier, France, during June 2019.
Fifty international bariatric experts from 25 countries convened for 2 days for interactive discussions, and to formulate the most relevant questions by electronically submitting 55 preliminary questions to panelists. Following the meeting, a final drafted questionnaire comprised of 41 questions was sent to all experts via e-mail.
Forty-six experts responded (92%). Esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy was considered mandatory before (92%) and after (78%) surgery. No consensus was achieved as to time intervals after surgery and the role of specialized tests for GERD. Higher degrees of erosive esophagitis (94%) and Barrett’s esophagus (96%) were viewed as contra-indications for LSG. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass was recommended in postoperative patients with uncontrolled GERD and insufficient (84%) or sufficient (76%) weight loss and Barrett’s esophagus (78%). Hiatal hernia (HH) repair was deemed necessary even in asymptomatic patients without GERD (80% for large and 67% for small HH). LSG with fundoplication in patients with GERD was considered by 77.3% of panelists.
The importance of pre- and postoperative endoscopy has been emphasized. The role of specialized tests for GERD and the exact surveillance programs need to be further defined. LSG is viewed as contra-indicated in higher degrees of endoscopic and clinical GERD. LSG with anti-reflux fundoplication emerges as a new valid option in patients with GERD.