Incidence and treatment of intussusception following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2021 May;17(5):1017-1028. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2021.01.006. Epub 2021 Jan 21.


Intussusception is a rare yet potentially life-threatening complication following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). Multiple case reports have described this complication, and recently, several retrospective studies have been published describing the surgical treatment of intussusception. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of intussusception following RYGB and provide insight into outcomes of subsequent operative treatment. A systematic search was performed using the PubMed and Cochrane databases. Article selection was performed using the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses criteria, and selecting articles describing the incidence of intussusception following RYGB. Data was pooled only when 3 or more comparable studies reported on the same outcome. The incidence of intussusception and outcomes of subsequent treatment were analyzed. Furthermore, all published case reports describing intussusception following RYGB were analyzed. A total of 74 studies published between 1991 and 2020 were included, describing 191 patients who underwent RYGB and developed intussusception. We retrieved 68 case reports, including 84 patients, and 6 retrospective studies describing outcomes of surgical treatment in 107 patients, which were used to pool data. There was a predominance of females among the included patients (85%-98%), and patients had significant weight loss following RYGB. The pooled incidence of intussusception following RYGB was .64%. Resection of the affected segment was performed in 34% of the patients. A pooled recurrence rate of 22% was found during follow-up. Resection and reconstruction of the jejunojejunostomy appears to be associated with the lowest risk of recurrence and acceptable complication rates. The pooled incidence of intussusception following RYGB is 0.64%. Typically, patients are female with significant weight loss after RYGB. Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Diagnosis is based on clinical findings and computed tomography scans, warranting early surgical exploration due to the high risk for ischemia. Resection of the jejunojejunostomy appears to be associated with the lowest recurrence rates and acceptable complication rates.

Keywords: Intussusception; Invagination; Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Gastric Bypass* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intussusception* / epidemiology
  • Intussusception* / etiology
  • Intussusception* / surgery
  • Male
  • Obesity, Morbid*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome