After Gastric Sleeve surgery, some patients may experience acid reflux even when they did not experience it before having the procedure done. The gastric sleeve is a high-pressure system that may cause acid reflux in under 20% of patients that did not experience acid reflux before surgery. Of this 20%, approximately 80% will be able to control it with medication and/or changes in diet and habits. Of the rest of the patients, approximately less than 4 per every 100 patients may need to revise to another bariatric procedure to resolve this issue.
If you have symptoms of acid reflux more than twice a week, you might have a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Acid reflux is not an easy condition to live with. Symptoms may include the following:
- a burning sensation in your chest or upper stomach especially after eating.
- feeling a lump in your throat
- regurgitation, bitter acid in the back of your throat
- difficulty swallowing
- feeling food gets stuck in your throat
- constant sore throat
It is common that patients who experience symptoms of acid reflux adopt habits to ease the symptoms which often results in weight gain. The most common coping mechanisms that patients use are the following:
- eating frequently throughout the day
- eating cookies/ crackers
- quit eating protein because it is painful or difficult to swallow
- relying on soft foods in every meal because they go down much easier
Acid reflux may also give patients a false sense of hunger without having the burning sensation in many cases, which has them eating constantly throughout the day. Not having the most known symptom of acid reflux —the burning sensation— makes it difficult for most patients to identify this sensation of hunger as a side effect of acid reflux.
Some lifestyle behaviors can also raise your risk of GERD, including:
- eating large meals
- lying down or going to sleep shortly after eating
- eating certain types of foods, such as deep-fried or spicy foods
- drinking certain types of beverages, such as soda, coffee, or alcohol
- using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen
If you are experiencing acid reflux talk to your doctor, it may be as simple as changing the medication you are currently taking, changing meal times, eliminating certain foods, etc.
At Mexicali Bariatric Center we want you to be successful with your weight loss journey. Remember we are here to help you along the way.