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Hi everyone, I had gastric sleeve approx 5 weeks ago now. About 3 weeks into it I started suffering from really bad acid reflux. I’d never experienced it before surgery so it took me about a week to even realise what it was. I don’t experience any burning but have been getting the nausea, and the build up turning into a lump in my throat. I was prescribed more nexium 40mg but it doesn’t seem to help at all. Just wondering if anyone has experienced anything similar to this and if it gets better, or if anyone has any recommendations to help? At the moment I’m struggling to even sleep as it will wake me up. Dietician and doctor didn’t have many recommendations other than to keep my hydration up. 

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Hi,

The gastric sleeve is a high pressure system - the internal diameter of your stomach is now much smaller, which increases pressure all along its length especially in the initial post operative period when the sleeve is inflamed and very tight. The food and fluid you ingest has nowhere else to go but up into your oesophagus, mostly. Also contributing to the problem can be high intra-abdominal pressures from your body habitus. Basically, if you carry fat around your abdomen then you will naturally have higher pressures within your abdominal cavity, which is why reflux is often associated with obesity (even though you didn't have symptoms pre-operatively, you may still have had an element of it).

 

As you recover the swelling decreases and your sleeve relaxes a little, as does the pressure within your abdominal cavity as you lose weight. Keep on taking your Nexium under the direction of your surgeon and dietitian. Maybe try adding in some antacids as well?

 

It's worth noting that reflux is a well known side effect of the sleeve gastrectomy. Some people never get rid of it and have to convert to a Roux-En-Y bypass in the hope of treating it, which it sometimes does, sometimes doesn't. Hopefully yours gets better with time xx

 

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