Magnetic Liver Retraction: an Incision-Less Approach for Less Invasive Bariatric Surgery

Obes Surg. 2019 Mar;29(3):1068-1073. doi: 10.1007/s11695-018-03655-w.


Background: In bariatric surgery, retraction of the liver is essential to ensure appropriate visualization of the surgical field. Many devices are currently employed for this purpose. Generally, these devices require constant use of a port, or an additional incision. Magnetic technology provides a novel solution, by allowing liver retraction during bariatric procedures that do not require a dedicated port nor an extra incision.

Methods: Retrospective review of consecutive patients who underwent magnetic-assisted liver retraction during primary or revisional laparoscopic bariatric surgery at the Duke Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery between October 2016 and August 2017.

Results: The 73 cases were comprised of 29 primary sleeve gastrectomies, 24 gastric bypasses, 10 duodenal switches, 3 gastric band removals, and 7 revisions. All cases were completed laparoscopically. Mean pre-operative BMI was 43.6 kg/m2 (range 18.3-67.7 kg/m2). Mean operative times for primary cases were similar to published averages. Two patients experienced minor 30-day morbidities, neither of which were attributed to the device and did not require further interventions. There were no 30-day mortalities. Surgeons described subjective overall surgical exposure as adequate and device utilization as technically simple even for the large livers.

Conclusions: Magnetic-assisted retraction is a novel approach that allows a safe, reproducible, incision-less technique for unconstrained, port-less intra-abdominal mobilization. The device successfully permitted optimal liver retraction during laparoscopic bariatric surgery, enhancing surgical exposure while decreasing the number of abdominal incisions.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Incision-less; Laparoscopic; Liver retraction; Magnetic-assisted surgery.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bariatric Surgery / instrumentation
  • Bariatric Surgery / methods*
  • Female
  • Gastrectomy / instrumentation
  • Gastrectomy / methods
  • Gastric Bypass / instrumentation
  • Gastric Bypass / methods
  • Humans
  • Immobilization* / instrumentation
  • Immobilization* / methods
  • Laparoscopy / instrumentation
  • Laparoscopy / methods
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / surgery*
  • Magnetic Field Therapy / instrumentation
  • Magnetic Field Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / instrumentation
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Instruments / adverse effects
  • Surgical Wound / prevention & control
  • Young Adult