Background: Gastrocutaneous fistula is an uncommon and difficult to treat complication that occurs in 0.5% to 3.9% of patients who undergo gastric surgery. Sepsis usually follows, and, when it is not managed effectively, the associated mortality rate can be as high as 85%. A fibrin sealant was used to endoscopically manage gastrocutaneous fistulas that developed in 3 morbidly obese patients after bariatric surgery.
Methods: Two of 14 (14.29%) patients who underwent vertical gastroplasty (MacLean procedure) developed a non-healing gastrocutaneous fistula. In addition, one of 24 (4.17%) patients who had a biliopancreatic diversion with preservation of pylorus developed a gastrocutaneous fistula. Endoscopic application of a fibrin sealant was performed under direct vision via a double-lumen catheter passed through a forward-viewing endoscope.
Observations: Treatment was successful in all patients after one or more endoscopic sessions in which the fibrin sealant was applied; no evidence of fistula was found at follow-up endoscopy.
Conclusions: Endoscopic closure of gastrocutaneous fistula with human fibrin tissue sealant is simple, safe, and effective, and, in some cases, can be life-saving. Endoscopic application of fibrin sealant should be considered a therapeutic option for treatment of gastrocutaneous fistula that develops after bariatric surgery.