Electrical stimulation of the lower esophageal sphincter

Electrical stimulation of the lower esophageal sphincter to address gastroesophageal reflux disease after sleeve gastrectomy


Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) can result in de novo and worsen preexisting gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Post-LSG patients with GERD refractory to proton pump inhibitors (PPI) usually undergo more invasive, anatomy-altering Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Lower esophageal sphincter (LES) electrical stimulation (ES) preserves the anatomy and has been shown to improve outcomes in GERD patients.

To evaluate the safety and efficacy of LES-ES in post-LSG patients with GERD not controlled with maximal PPI therapy.

Prospective, international, multicenter registry.

Patients with LSG-associated GERD partially responsive to PPI underwent LES-ES. GERD outcomes pre- and poststimulation were evaluated based on quality of life, esophageal acid exposure (after 6-12 mo), and PPI use.

Seventeen patients (11 female, 65%), treated at 6 centers between May 2014 and October, 2016 with a median follow-up of 12 months (range 6-24), received LES-ES. Median age was 48.6 years (interquartile range, 40.5-56), median body mass index 31.7 kg/m2 (27.9-39.3). All patients were on at least daily PPI preoperatively; at last follow-up, 7 (41%) were completely off PPI, 5 (29%) took PPI on an intermittent basis, and 5 (29%) were on single-dose PPI. Median GERD-health-related quality of life scores improved from 34 (on-PPI, 25-41) at baseline to 9 (6-13) at last follow-up (off-PPI, P<.001). Percentage of time with esophageal pH<4 improved from 13.2% (3.7-30.7) to 5.8% (1.1-54.4), P = .01.

LES-ES in post-LSG patients suffering from symptomatic, PPI-refractory GERD resulted in significant improvement of GERD-symptoms, esophageal acid exposure, and need for PPI. Preserving the post-LSG anatomy, it offers a valid option for patients unable or unwilling to undergo Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.

Link to the publication at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Clinical Trials