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Review
, 101 (8), e172-e177

Laparoscopic Management of a Migrated Intragastric Balloon Causing Mechanical Small Bowel Obstruction: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

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Review

Laparoscopic Management of a Migrated Intragastric Balloon Causing Mechanical Small Bowel Obstruction: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

D Hay et al. Ann R Coll Surg Engl.

Abstract

Intragastric balloons have been used as an invasive non-surgical treatment for obesity for over 30 years. Within the last 37 years, we have found only 27 cases reported in the literature of intestinal obstruction caused by a migrated intragastric balloon. We report the laparoscopic management of such a case and make observations from similar case presentations published in the literature. A 26-year-old woman had an intragastric balloon placed endoscopically for weight control 13 months previously. She presented to the emergency department with a four-day history of intermittent abdominal cramps and vomiting. Contrast enhanced computed tomography confirmed the presence of the intragastric balloon within the small bowel. At laparoscopic retrieval, the deflated intragastric balloon was found impacted in the terminal ileum approximately 15 cm from the ileocaecal valve. The balloon was retrieved by enterotomy and primary closure of the ileum without event. The risk of balloon deflation and subsequent migration increases over time but several published cases demonstrate that this complication can occur within six months of insertion. The initial approach to the treatment of migrated intragastric balloons causing small bowel obstruction should be determined by the location of impaction, severity of obstruction and the available skill set of the attending radiologist, endoscopist and/or surgeon. Balloons causing obstruction in the duodenum are likely amenable to endoscopic retrieval whereas impaction within the jejunum or ileum could be managed by percutaneous needle aspiration (in selected cases), endoscopy (double-balloon enteroscopy), laparoscopy or open surgery.

Keywords: Gastric balloon migration, complications; Intragastric balloon; Laparoscopic emergency surgery; Obesity surgery; Small bowel obstruction.

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