Aortic injuries during laparoscopic gastric bypass for morbid obesity in Sweden 2009-2010: a nationwide survey

Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2014 Mar-Apr;10(2):203-7. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2013.06.019. Epub 2013 Jun 27.


Background: In Sweden, bariatric surgery has increased more than tenfold in the past decade, from 700 to 8,600 procedures annually, and laparoscopic gastric bypass (LRYGB) dominates (92% of all procedures). This expansion makes safety issues crucial. The aim of this nationwide survey was to identify aortic injuries in LRYGB.

Methods: All 41 centers performing LRYGB in Sweden were asked if an aortic injury had occurred during the years 2009-2010. Techniques for entering the first trocar and way of establishing pneumoperitoneum were evaluated. The total number of procedures was collected from the national quality registry, Scandinavian Obesity Surgery Registry (SOReg), and the National Patient Register.

Results: During the study period, 11,744 LRYGBs were performed. The analysis revealed 5 aortic injuries, all occurring in patients in whom an optical trocar had been placed before establishing pneumoperitoneum. Outcomes varied from no major sequelae to bilateral lower limb amputation and death. Based on the total number of LRYGBs, the risk for an aortic injury was .043% overall and .091% when an optical trocar was used.

Conclusion: Aortic injury is a rare but serious complication in laparoscopic gastric bypass. In this survey, optical trocars constructed to reduce the risk of intraabdominal damage had been used in all 5 cases.

Keywords: Aortic injury; Gastric bypass; Laparoscopy; Optical trocar; Trocar injury.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aorta, Abdominal / injuries*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastric Bypass / adverse effects*
  • Gastric Bypass / methods
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intraoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Laparoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Vascular System Injuries / epidemiology*