Does experience preclude leaks in laparoscopic gastric bypass?
BACKGROUND: Improved outcomes of laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) have been demonstrated once pratice has moved beyond the learning curve. However, there is no evidence that experience has a favorable impact on the incidence of leaks. This study evaluated the incidence of staple-line leaks as experience accrued in a university-based bariatric surgery program. METHODS: Prospectively collected data on our first 200 patients undergoing LRYGB since July 1998 were analyzed. Linear staplers were used to divide the stomach and to create a side-to-side jejunojejunostomy. A side-to-side cardiojejunostomy was created using a 21-mm circular stapler. Patient characteristics, operative data, and outcomes were evaluated chronologically with comparison of outcomes between quartiles. RESULTS: Staple-line leaks developed in 9 (4.5%) of the first 200 patients undergoing LRYGB. Among the 200 patients were 190 women (95%). The median age of the patients was 48 years (ranges, 24-62 years), and their body mass index was 43 kg/m(2) (ranges, 32-59 kg/m(2)). As surgeons' experience increased over time, there was a significant increase in the weight of patients and the percentage of patients with previous abdominal operations. There also was a significant decrease in conversion rates and operative times. Leaks occurred in six patients at the cardiojejunostomy (3%), in two patients jejunojejunostomy (1%), and in one patient at the excluded stomach (0.5%). Of the 50 leaks that occurred in each quartile, there were in the 3 in the 1st quartile, 1 in the 2nd quartile, 2 in the 3rd quartile, 3 in the 4th quartile. The differences were not significant. There was no correlation between the number of LRYGBs, and the occurrence of a leak (p = 0.59 confidence interval -0.13-0.22). CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of staple-line leaks appears to be independent of the number of LRYGBs performed. These data suggest that surgeons' experience may not eliminate anastomotic complications experienced by patients undergoing LRYGB.
Gonzalez, R; Haines, K; Gallagher, SF; Murr, MM
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