Background: Video assessment is an emerging tool for understanding variation in surgical technique.
Methods: Representative videos of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) were voluntarily submitted by 20 surgeons who participated in a statewide quality improvement collaborative. The amount of time required to complete the salient steps of the operation was measured and variations in the tasks performed during each step were captured.
Results: Twenty-two videos of LSG were submitted and 11 videos included concurrent hiatal hernia repair. Data obtained from video analysis identified variation in time to complete each step of the procedure: prestapling dissection of stomach (5-25 minutes), gastric stapling (8-20 minutes), and management of the staple line (1-25 minutes). Time required to perform a hiatal hernia repair also varied (1-26 minutes), as did the type of repair: 55% were performed with a posterior cruropexy, 27% were performed with an anterior cruropexy, and 18% were performed with both. Ten different permutations of staple heights and buttressing material were used during division of the stomach with a gastric stapler. Management of the staple line included use of buttressing (64%), fibrin sealant (36%), oversewing (9%), surgical clips (18%), imbrication of the staple line (36%), and omentoplasty (55%).
Conclusions: LSG technique is not uniform. Video analysis identified variation in (1) time to complete each step of the procedure, (2) hiatal hernia repair technique, (3) stapling technique, and (4) post-transection staple line management. Future efforts linking video analysis with clinical outcomes can provide objective evidence to support best practices.
Keywords: bariatric surgery; sleeve gastrectomy; technique; video assessment.