Effect of Cholecystectomy on Gastroesophageal and Duodenogastric Reflux

Manifold, D. K.; Anggiansah, A.; Owen, W. J.
October 2000
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Oct2000, Vol. 95 Issue 10, p2746
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE: The majority of patients experience resolution of their symptoms after cholecystectomy. but a minority either find their symptoms unchanged or complain of new upper GI symptoms. It has been suggested that the effect of cholecystectomy on upper GI motility. sphincter function, or bile delivery may account for these postoperative symptoms. We aimed to determine whether cholecystectomy affects gastroesophageal reflux or duodenogastric reflux by using 24-h ambulatory pH and gastric bilirubin monitoring before and after surgery. METHODS: Seventeen symptomatic patients with gallstones underwent 24-h ambulatory esophageal and gastric pH-metry and gastric bilirubin monitoring. Helicobacter pylori status was ascertained in all patients by 14C urea breath test and serology. Combined pH and bilirubin monitoring was repeated 3 months after cholecystectomy. Eleven healthy subjects served as a control group, RESULTS: Three (17%) patients complained of persistent or new symptoms after surgery, whereas 14 (83%) patients were asymptomatic. Two patients (12%) underwent open cholecystectomy. and (88%) had the operation performed laparoscopically. No significant differences were detected in esophageal acid exposure (pH < 4). gastric alkaline shift (pH > 4). or gastric bilirubin exposure (absorbance > 0.14) after surgery. Three (17%) patients tested positive for Helicobacter pylori, the presence of infection did not appear to affect pre- or postoperative values. CONCLUSIONS: Cholecystectomy does not result in increased bile reflux into the stomach or increased gastroesophageal acid reflux. Those patients who had increased postoperative duodenogastric reflux were entirely asymptomatic. The symptoms of postcholecystectomy syndrome are unlikely to be related to increased duodenogastric reflux after surgery.


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