Incidence and Efficacy of Stent Placement in Leak Management After Bariatric Surgery: An MBSAQIP Analysis

Ann Surg. 2020 Jan;271(1):134-139. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000003023.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the rates of use and efficacy of stent placement for postoperative leak following bariatric surgery.

Summary of background data: Endoscopically placed stents can successfully treat anastomotic and staple line leaks after bariatric surgery. However, the extent to which stents are used in the management of bariatric complications and rates of reoperation remain unknown.

Methods: Data from the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program participant use files were analyzed for patients who experienced anastomotic or staple line leaks after bariatric surgery, and then evaluated for use of an endoscopically placed stent. Patient and procedure-level data were compared between those who underwent stent placement versus those who required reoperation. Multivariable logistic regression was used to compare outcomes between groups.

Results: A total of 354,865 bariatric cases were captured in 2015 to 2016. One thousand one hundred thirty patients (0.3%) required intervention for a leak, of whom 275 (24%) were treated with an endoscopically placed stent. One hundred seven (39%) of the patients who received stents required reoperation as part of their care pathway. Patient characteristics were statistically similar when comparing leaks managed with stents to those treated with reoperation alone. Those treated with stents, however, had a higher likelihood of readmission (odds ratio 2.59, 95% confidence interval -1.59 to 4.20).

Conclusion: Placement of stents for management of leaks after bariatric surgery is common throughout the United States. The use of stents can be effective; however, it does not prevent reoperation and is associated with an increased likelihood of readmission. Both technique and resource utilization should be considered when choosing a management pathway for leaks.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anastomotic Leak / epidemiology*
  • Anastomotic Leak / surgery
  • Bariatric Surgery / adverse effects*
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / surgery
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology