Compared with gastric bypass (GB) surgery, the weight-loss surgery using laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) did not relieve or resolve symptoms for most patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition where stomach contents leak back into the esophagus and can cause heartburn and nausea, according to a study by Cecily E. DuPree, D.O., and colleagues at the Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Wash.

GERD is a common weight-related disease associated with a body mass index (BMI) above 30, according to the study background.

The authors reviewed a database of bariatric surgery outcomes from 2007 through 2010 that included follow-up data on 4,832 patients who underwent LSG and 33,867 patients who underwent GB. Preexisting GERD was present in 44.5 percent of the LSG group and 50.4 percent of the GB group.

Study results indicate that most LSG patients (84.1 percent) continued to have GERD symptoms after surgery. Another 8.6 percent of patients who had LSG developed GERD postoperatively. In the GB group, there was complete resolution of GERD symptoms in most patients (62.8 percent), stabilization of symptoms in 17.6 percent of patients, and a worsening of symptoms in 2.2 percent of patients. GERD had no effect on weight loss for the GB group but was associated with decreased weight loss in the LSG group.

"Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy did not reliably relieve or improve GERD symptoms and induced GERD in some previously asymptomatic patients," the study concludes.