Mechanisms of Esophageal and Gastric Transit Following Sleeve Gastrectomy

Yazmin Johari, Anagi Wickremasinghe, Pradipta Kiswandono, Helen Yue, Geraldine Ooi, Cheryl Laurie, Geoffrey Hebbard, Paul Beech, Kenneth Yap, Wendy Brown, Paul Burton

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Sleeve gastrectomy (SG) patients have substantially altered anatomy. The mechanism of rapid gastric emptying and the role of esophageal contractile function in esophago-gastric transit has not been defined. We aimed to determine the mechanisms of esophago-gastric transit and role of esophageal function following sleeve gastrectomy. Methods: Prospective study of twenty-six asymptomatic participants post SG underwent nuclear scintigraphy and high-resolution manometry. Fourteen had semi-solid stress barium to model the emptying process. Concurrent video fluoroscopy and manometry were performed on 7 participants. Results: Demographic data are as follows: age 45.3 ± 15.0 years, 73.1% female, excess weight loss 62.2 ± 28.1% at 8 months. Scintigraphy showed rapid gastric emptying (24.4 ± 11.4 vs. 75.80 ± 45.19 min in control, p < 0.001) with 35.24 ± 17.12% of bolus transited into small bowel on initial frame. Triggered deglutitive reflux was common (54.4% vs. 18.2%, p = 0.017). Stress barium delineated separate vertical and antral gastric compartments with cyclical emptying of 8 stages, including reflux-induced repeated esophageal peristalsis. During manometry, ramping effects were noted, with sequential swallows producing sustained isobaric pressurizations in proximal stomach (33.6 ± 29.5 mmHg). Video fluoroscopy showed individual esophageal peristalsis generating pressurizations at 5.0 ± 1.4 cm below lower esophageal sphincter (LES), at amplitude of 31.6 ± 13.1 mmHg, associated with intragastric transit. Pressurizations were sustained for 17.3 ± 8.2 s, similar to the prolonged LES contraction (18.5 ± 9.0 s, p = 0.355). Conclusions: Repeated esophageal peristaltic contractions induced isobaric pressurization of proximal stomach, thus providing the drive to pressurize and empty the vertical compartment of the gastric sleeve. Transit following SG appeared to be esophageal-mediated and followed a distinct cycle with strong associations with reflux.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-737
Number of pages13
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Emptying
  • Esophageal transit
  • Manometry
  • Reflux
  • Scintigraphy
  • Sleeve gastrectomy

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