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, 19 (7), 821-6

Nonsurgical Treatment of Staple Line Leaks After Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy


Nonsurgical Treatment of Staple Line Leaks After Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

G Casella et al. Obes Surg.


Background: Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is gaining popularity as a "per se" bariatric procedure due to its effectiveness on weight loss and comorbidity resolution. The most feared and life-threatening complication after LSG is the staple line leak and its management is still a debated issue. Aim of this paper is to analyze the incidence of leak and the treatment solutions adopted in a consecutive series of 200 LSG.

Methods: From October 2002 to November 2008, 200 patients underwent LSG. Nineteen patients (9.5%) had a body mass index (BMI) of >60 kg/m(2). A 48-Fr bougie is used to obtain an 80-120-ml gastric pouch. An oversewing running suture to reinforce the staple line was performed in the last 100 cases. The technique adopted to reinforce the staple line is a running suture taken through and through the complete stomach wall.

Results: Staple line leaks occurred in six patients (mean BMI 52.5; mean age 41.6 years). Leak presentation was early in three cases (first, second, and third postoperative (PO) day), late in the remaining three cases (11th, 22nd, and 30th PO day). The most common leak location was at the esophagogastric junction (five cases). Mortality was nihil. Nonoperative management (total parenteral nutrition, proton pump inhibitor, and antibiotics) was adopted in all cases. Percutaneous abdominal drainage was placed in five patients. In one case, a small fistula was successfully treated by endoscopic injection of fibrin glue only. Self-expandable covered stent was used in three cases. Complete healing of leaks was obtained in all patients (mean healing time 71 days).

Conclusion: Nonoperative treatment (percutaneous drainage, endoscopy, stent) is feasible, safe, and effective for staple line leaks in patients undergoing LSG; furthermore, it may avoid more mutilating procedures such as total gastrectomy.

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