A patient, who had undergone a sleeve gastrectomy five years ago, started to suffer from gastroesophageal reflux after her procedure, a common symptom following gastroplasty due to the loosening of the lower esophageal sphincter.
The patient had sought treatment at different hospitals before arriving at the International Medical Center in Jeddah. After confirming her diagnosis, the medical team proposed solutions to address her condition, and discussed the challenges associated with each of them.
Dr. Adeeb Elghalayini, consultant gastroenterologist and hepatologist at IMC, said: “The solutions proposed for gastroesophageal reflux following a sleeve gastrectomy are usually surgical ones that involve complicated operations, such as removing the stomach and altering the path directly to the intestines, or even gastropexy and imperforation of the diaphragm. The success rate of these operations is not high for a patient who has had sleeve gastrectomy, unlike if the patient had a full normal stomach.”
However, Dr. Elghalayini led the medical team to develop an innovative approach that avoids a major surgical operation. They performed the first procedure of its kind in the field of gastrointestinal medicine and endoscopy, by repairing the LES relaxation causing the gastroesophageal reflux using the GERDX technique, which only took 10 minutes.
The main challenge faced by the medical team with this procedure was that the size of the stomach had become quite small due to the sleeve gastrectomy, which made it difficult to benefit from the GERDX technique, which is usually used for larger stomachs as the tool requires enough space to be moved around.
“This is the first procedure of its kind executed globally in the field of gastrointestinal and bariatric surgery. Thankfully, we were able to repair the LES relaxation that caused the gastroesophageal reflux for the patient following her gastroplasty, without any surgical procedure,” said Dr. Elghalayini.
The patient was discharged and went home the next day after the procedure. During her first checkup at the hospital a week later, it was confirmed that she had recovered completely, and the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux had completely disappeared.