Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), occurs when acid from the stomach splashes up into the esophagus. Over time, this can lead to: esophagitis (inflammation), which can cause difficulty swallowing, ulcers, and scarring; Barrett’s esophagus, or damage to the lining of the esophagus, which has been shown to lead to cancer; and esophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma), which is associated with a low survival rate: only 12% of patients survive for more than five years.
Numerous studies have shown that laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGBP) gives morbidly obese patients very good control of their GERD. These patients may be better served by LRYGBP than other surgical treatments for GERD because of the additional benefit of significant weight loss. In addition, other researchers have found that RYGBP is both safe and effective at treating reflux esophagitis in patients with less severe obesity.