Small bowel ischemia after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass complicated by pregnancy: a case report

Am Surg. 2005 Mar;71(3):231-4.


Small bowel obstruction is an unusual complication of pregnancy. Its occurrence after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) for morbid obesity complicated by pregnancy is rare. Morbid obesity describes body weight at least 100 lb over the ideal weight, or a body mass index (BMI) > or = 40. Surgery offers the only viable treatment option with long-term weight loss and maintenance. This case report involves a 23-year-old female at 25 weeks gestation with a 1-day history of diffuse abdominal pain and vomiting. She had a RYGB with a 15 cc micropouch 6 months prior to the commencement of this pregnancy. All radiologic investigations were normal. Esophagogastroscopy was performed revealing an ischemic Roux limb of the gastric bypass. At laparotomy, an internal hernia involving the afferent limb was identified at the site of the Roux anastomosis compromising portions of both the afferent and Roux limbs. Nonviable portions of both the afferent and Roux limbs were resected. Gastrointestinal continuity was achieved by fashioning a gastro-gastrostomy and a jejuno-jejunostomy, thus reversing the original gastric bypass procedure. The immediate postoperative period was complicated by fetal demise. With the increase in bariatric surgery, small bowel ischemia after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass will most likely become more prevalent, particularly in women of childbearing age.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / diagnosis
  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Adult
  • Anastomosis, Roux-en-Y / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastric Bypass / adverse effects*
  • Gastric Bypass / methods
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Intestine, Small / blood supply*
  • Intestine, Small / surgery
  • Ischemia / diagnosis*
  • Ischemia / etiology
  • Ischemia / surgery
  • Laparotomy / methods
  • Obesity, Morbid / diagnosis
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications / surgery
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Risk Assessment