Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

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How Bariatric Surgery Can Help

*Individual results may vary

What is it?

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (or GERD) is injury to the esophagus caused by chronic exposure to stomach acid. While the symptom of heartburn is often associated with this disease, GERD is more than an annoyance. It is a serious disease that can cause esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal cancer. Occasional heartburn does not indicate GERD.

Excess body weight may weaken the valve at the top of the stomach, allowing acid to escape into the esophagus. This escape is known as gastroesophageal reflux. While GERD may occur regardless of someone’s age, gender, or body mass, the disease tends to be more severe in the obese.

A five- to 10-year follow-up study that included 16,191 participants showed that there is an independent relationship between obesity, nighttime GERD and habitual snoring, and the onset of asthma and respiratory symptoms in adults. A 130-patient study found that people who suffer from GERD experienced a worsening of symptoms as their weight increased.

How is it affected by bariatric surgery?

Obesity increases a person’s risk of GERD. Bariatric surgery improves GERD by reducing the amount of stomach acid produced.

What success have clients found through bariatric surgery?

A 2000 study of 500 clients showed complete resolution of GERD in 98 percent of clients. While there is anti-reflux surgery, it fails more often in people with morbid obesity and only addresses one co-morbidity. Another study found that all participants who had gastric bypass surgery reported an improvement in or no symptoms of GERD.

Blossom Bariatrics in Las Vegas, Nevada, is home to nationally renowned, board-certified and fellowship-trained surgeon, Dr. Tom Umbach. With more than 15 years of specialized experience in gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery, Dr. Umbach has been named one of the “Nation’s Leading Bariatric Surgeons” and “Best Healthcare Consultants.” Together with his compassionate staff, Dr. Umbach attracts clients worldwide with unparalleled pre- and post-operative support, unmatched pricing, a convenient location and world-class expertise.

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