SAN DIEGO – Concomitant hiatal hernia repair is significantly more common at the time of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, compared with laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, according to a retrospective analysis.
“GERD [gastroesophageal reflux disease] is common in patients with a high body mass index,” lead study author, said at the annual clinical congress of the American College of Surgeons. “In fact, 35%-40% of patients who undergo bariatric surgery are diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, and the majority of them are diagnosed during surgery.”
In an effort to assess the differences in practice patterns in the performance of hiatal hernia repair during laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) and laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB), the researchers evaluated the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvementpublic use files from 2015. They limited the analysis to LSG and LRYGB and also excluded revision procedures and patients with a history of foregut surgery.
In all, 130,686 patients were included in the study. Their mean age was 45 years, 79% were female, 75% were Caucasian, and their mean body mass index was 45.7 kg/m2. Most (70%) underwent LSG, while the remainder underwent LRYGB.
At baseline, a greater proportion of the LRYGB patients had a history of GERD than did LSG patients (37.2% vs. 28.6%, respectively; P less than .0001). They were also more likely to have hypertension (54.1% vs. 47.9%; P less than .0001), hyperlipidemia (29.9% vs. 23.2%; P less than .0001), and diabetes (35.5% vs. 23.3%; P less than .0001). Overall, about 15% of patients had a concomitant hiatal hernia repair in addition to their bariatric surgery.
Next, the investigators found what Dr. Spaniolas termed “the GERD paradox”: Although the LRYGB patients were more likely to have GERD before surgery, they were much less likely to undergo a hiatal hernia repair in addition to their bariatric procedure. Specifically, concomitant hiatal hernia repair was performed in 21% of LSG patients, compared with only 10.8% of LRYGB patients (P less than .0001). After investigators controlled for baseline BMI, preoperative GERD, and other patient characteristics, they found that LSG patients were 2.14 times more likely to undergo concomitant hiatal hernia repair, compared with LRYGB patients.
“This is a retrospective review, but nevertheless, I think we can conclude that these findings suggest that concomitant hiatal hernia repair is significantly more common after LSG, compared with LRYGB, despite having less GERD preoperatively,” Dr. Spaniolas said. “This suggests that there is a nationwide difference in the intraoperative management of hiatal hernia based on the type of planned bariatric procedure. This practice pattern needs to be considered while retrospectively assessing GERD-related outcomes of bariatric surgery in the future.”
Dr. Spaniolas disclosed that he has received research support from Merck and that he is a consultant for Mallinckrodt.