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, 154 (2), 305-11

Internal Hernia After Gastrectomy for Cancer With Roux-Y Reconstruction


Internal Hernia After Gastrectomy for Cancer With Roux-Y Reconstruction

Kaitlyn J Kelly et al. Surgery.


Background: The incidence of internal hernia (IH) after gastrectomy for cancer with Roux-Y reconstruction has not been well-defined. This study aimed to define the true incidence of IH after gastrectomy for cancer with Roux-Y reconstruction; to describe the presentation, timing, and management of this complication; and to identify factors associated with IH.

Methods: Clinical and follow-up information were reviewed for all patients who underwent open or laparoscopic gastrectomy with Roux-Y reconstruction for cancer at a single institution from January 2005 through April 2012.

Results: A total of 298 patients underwent gastrectomy for cancer with Roux-Y reconstruction. At a median follow-up of 22.4 months, we identified 16 patients (5%) who underwent subsequent reoperation for IH. No patient who had closure of mesenteric defects developed IH. IH occurred in 1 of 99 patients after open subtotal gastrectomy (1%), 10 of 165 after open total gastrectomy (6%), 1 of 16 after laparoscopic subtotal gastrectomy (6%), and 4 of 18 after laparoscopic total gastrectomy (22%; P < .03). On univariate analysis, younger age, lower body mass index, no previous abdominal surgery, laparoscopic approach, and total gastrectomy were associated with IH. IH tended to occur early after laparoscopic gastrectomy (median, 7 months) and late after open gastrectomy (median, 24 months).

Conclusion: IH after gastrectomy with Roux-Y reconstruction is likely underreported. A high degree of suspicion for IH should be maintained in patients presenting with emesis or abdominal pain after gastrectomy with Roux-Y reconstruction, especially after laparoscopic or total gastrectomy. Closure of mesenteric defects after laparoscopic and total gastrectomy should be considered when technically feasible.

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