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. 2017 Apr;13(4):553-559.
doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2016.10.011. Epub 2016 Oct 19.

Eliminating Routine Upper Gastrointestinal Contrast Studies After Sleeve Gastrectomy Decreases Length of Stay and Hospitalization Costs

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Eliminating Routine Upper Gastrointestinal Contrast Studies After Sleeve Gastrectomy Decreases Length of Stay and Hospitalization Costs

Lionel Rebibo et al. Surg Obes Relat Dis. .

Abstract

Background: Recent series have shown the lack of value of routine upper gastrointestinal (UGI) contrast studies on postoperative day 1 or 2 for the detection of gastric leak (GL) after sleeve gastrectomy (SG). Despite this finding, many centers still perform routine early UGI contrast studies after SG. No series has evaluated the impact of eliminating this examination on the overall management of patients undergoing SG.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of UGI contrast studies on SG management.

Setting: University hospital, France, public practice.

Methods: This study was an ambispective study of a cohort of patients who underwent primary SG between January 2014 and December 2014 (n = 267). Two consecutive groups were compared: patients with routine UGI contrast studies on postoperative day 1 (UGI+group, n = 154) and patients without routine UGI contrast studies (UGI-group, n = 113). The efficacy endpoint of the study was the overall impact of not performing routine UGI contrast studies (length of hospital stay, radiological data, rehospitalization data, and economic assessment).

Results: The overall complication rate was 9.3% and no deaths were observed. The GL rate was 1.5%. The mean hospital stay was 1.8 days (2.1 days versus 1.5 days; P = .57). Routine UGI contrast studies did not detect any cases of GL or gastric stenosis. After UGI contrast studies, 56 patients complained of events related to UGI contrast studies (36.4%). A total of 27 computed tomography scans were performed during the first 3 postoperative months (16 in the UGI+group (10.4%) versus 11 in the UGI-group (9.7%); P = .52). Twelve patients were rehospitalized (7 and 5; P = .6). The median length of rehospitalization was 7 days (7 and 5 days; P = .6). Overall cost per patient during SG hospitalization was $5,219 in the UGI+group and $3,678 in the UGI-group (P = .01).

Conclusion: Eliminating routine UGI contrast studies was associated with decreased length of hospital stay and cost of SG procedures. Larger series are required to show that not performing routine UGI contrast studies has no impact on the postoperative complication rate and the management of these complications.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Cost evaluation; Gastric leak; Sleeve gastrectomy; Upper gastrointestinal contrast studies.

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