Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy for obesity: can it be considered a definitive procedure?
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- Chopra, A., Chao, E., Etkin, Y. et al. Surg Endosc (2012) 26: 831. doi:10.1007/s00464-011-1960-2
Providing bariatric surgery services to an inner-city population is a challenge. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is an effective operation for morbid obesity with a relatively low complication rate. LSG appears to be a suitable alternative procedure for this group of patients.
This is a retrospective review and analysis of the experience with 185 consecutive LSGs that had completed at least 6 months follow-up. Eleven conversions from LSG to laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass were excluded, leaving 174 patients for outcome analysis. Data collected were patient demographics, body mass index (BMI), comorbid conditions, operating time, length of hospital stay, and perioperative complications. Weight loss and resolution/improvement of comorbidities were analyzed.
Mean patient age was 39.58 years and mean BMI was 48.97 kg/m2. The percentage of patients with BMI > 50 kg/m2 was 37.94%. Mean excess weight loss (EWL) was 44.76, 55.52, 59.22, and 58.92% at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months, respectively. Six patients (3.24%) lost less than 25% EWL. Thirteen patients (7.02%) regained an average of 13 lb after reaching a plateau. Resolution/improvement of comorbidities was 84% for diabetes mellitus, 49.99% for hypertension, 90% for asthma, 90.74% for obstructive sleep apnea, and 45.92% for gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms (GERD). The mortality rate was zero in this series. Perioperative complications occurred in 26 patients (14.05%): four staple-line leaks (2.16%), four bleeds (2.16%), four obstructions (2.16%), five vomiting/dehydration (2.70%), six new onset of GERD symptoms (3.24%), two with pneumonia (1.08%), and one with pulmonary embolism (0.54%).
LSG results in stable and adequate weight loss with resolution/improvement in comorbidities in a high percentage of patients. It can be considered a definitive operation for morbid obesity.