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Laparoscopic repair of gastrointestinal leaks after laparoscopic gastric bypass.

  • Madan, Atul K
  • Lanier, Brock
  • Tichansky, David S
Published Article
The American surgeon
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2006
PMID: 16875079


Gastrointestinal (GI) leak after gastric bypass is a cause of significant morbidity and a mortality that may exceed 50%. This study was performed to review our experience with laparoscopic repair of GI leaks after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB). A retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent LRYGB over a 25-month period was performed. Patients who had any operation for a GI leak after LRYGB were included in this study. There were 300 patients who underwent LRYGB. No intraoperative conversions occurred. Eight (2.7%) patients underwent operative repair of a GI leak. Another patient had a gastrojejunostomy leak that was managed nonoperatively. The rate of GI leaks reduced from 5.3 per cent in the first 150 cases to 0.7 per cent in the last 150 cases (P < 0.05). One patient was converted to an open approach. Average operative time for the laparoscopic repairs was 133 minutes (range, 75-182 minutes). Sources of leak found at operation were gastrojejunostomy (3), enterotomy (3), jejunojejunostomy (2), gastric pouch (1), and cystic duct stump (1). Two patients had a GI leak from two sources. Average length of stay was 28 days (range, 4-78 days). Three patients whose stay was greater than a month were the result of sepsis and ventilator dependence. Further reoperations were required in two patients (laparoscopic) for abdominal washout and one patient (open) for enterotomy repair. One patient required computed tomography-guided drainage of an abscess. Mortality was 22 per cent (2) in patients who developed GI leaks. One patient died from sepsis-induced multiple organ failure and the other patient from a presumed pulmonary embolus. GI leaks cause significant morbidity and mortality. GI leak rates decrease with experience. Laparoscopic repair of GI leaks should be used judiciously. Conversions and further reoperations may be necessary.

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