Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and sleeve gastrectomy (SG) are the two most popular procedures performed. The decision of which technique is most appropriate depends on the surgeon’s preferences and experience. However, several factors strongly influence the decision of the procedure performed, including gastrointestinal disorders or asymptomatic upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (UGE) findings. This study aimed to describe the pathological endoscopic findings in morbidly obese patients undergoing preoperative routine UGE.
A retrospective review of a prospectively collected database of all UGEs performed before bariatric surgery was performed. UGE was routinely performed to all the patients as part of the preoperative evaluation protocol.
A total of 790 patients were included. Surgical technique included 610 (77.2%) RYGB and 180 (22.8%) SG. Twenty-one asymptomatic patients presented esophagitis at UGE. In only seven patients (0.89%), the endoscopic findings of esophagitis had changed the initial surgical decision. The presence of ulcers or adenomatous or incompletely resected polyps was an indication for SG, to assure future endoscopic access in case it is needed. In 25 patients (3.17%), the initial operation would have been changed based on UGE findings.
Preoperative UGE allows the diagnosis of asymptomatic esophagitis related to gastroesophageal reflux disease and the identification of asymptomatic polyps and ulcers, with the potential ability for malignant transformation. In up to 3.17% of the cases, the endoscopic findings changed the operative strategy. As the complication rate associated with the procedure is low, we recommend the routine performance of preoperative UGE before bariatric surgery.