Background: Leaks are considered one of the major complications of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) with a reported rate up to 7 %. Drainage of the collection coupled with SEMS deployment is the most frequent treatment. Its success is variable and burdened by high morbidity and not irrelevant mortality. The aim of this paper is to suggest and establish a new approach by endoscopic internal drainage (EID) for the management of leaks.
Methods: Since March 2013, 67 patients presenting leak following LSG were treated with deployment of double pigtail plastic stents across orifice leak, positioning one end inside the collection and the other end in remnant stomach. The aim of EID is to internally drain the collection and at the same time promote leak healing.
Results: Double pigtails stent were successfully delivered in 66 out of 67 patients (98.5 %). Fifty patients were cured by EID after a mean time of 57.5 days and an average of 3.14 endoscopic sessions. Two died for event not related to EID. Nine are still under treatment; five failure had been registered. Six patients developed late stenosis treated endoscopically.
Conclusions: EID proved to be a valid, curative, and safe mini-invasive approach for treatment of leaks following SG. EID achieves complete drainage of perigastric collections and stimulates mucosal growth over the stent. EID is well tolerated, allows early re-alimentation, and it is burdened by fewer complications than others technique. Long-term follow-up confirms good outcomes with no motility or feeding alterations.