Randomized controlled trial comparing three methods of liver retraction in laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

Surg Endosc. 2013 Feb;27(2):679-84. doi: 10.1007/s00464-012-2438-6. Epub 2012 Jul 7.


Background: This study aimed to evaluate differences between three methods of liver retraction during laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric bypass (LRYGB) and to compare novel liver retraction techniques with the traditional mechanical liver retractor in a randomized controlled trial.

Methods: In this study, 60 obese patients (26 males and 34 females) who underwent LRYGB between January and July 2010 were randomized to one of three groups (20 in each): group 1 (Nathanson liver retractor), group 2 (liver suspension tape), and group 3 (V-shaped liver suspension technique [V-LIST]). Data regarding demographics (age, sex, body mass index); liver function test (LFT) just before surgery; postoperative results immediately, then 18 h, 1 week, and 1 month after surgery; operative data, and visual analog scale (VAS) for pain on postoperative days (PODs) 1 and 2 were calculated and analyzed.

Results: The groups did not differ significantly in terms of preoperative LFT or operative data except that group 3 took significantly longer time for liver suspension than group 1 (p = 0.01) or group 2 (p = 0.03). The VAS score in group 2 was significantly lower on POD 1 than in group 1 (p = 0.04). Group 1 showed a significant rise in aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) at 18 h compared with group 2 (p < 0.01 and p = 0.02, respectively) and group 3 (p < 0.01 and p = 0.01), at 1 week compared with group 2 (p = 0.04 and 0.04), and in AST levels alone during the immediate postoperative compared with group 3 (p = 0.04).

Conclusion: The Nathanson liver retractor causes more liver dysfunction than V-LIST or the liver suspension technique and causes more postoperative pain than the liver suspension technique. Both V-LIST and liver suspension tape have a short learning curve and implications for single-port surgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gastric Bypass / methods*
  • Humans
  • Liver*
  • Male