Obesity Surgery

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 292–297 | Cite as

Anastomotic Leak following Antecolic versus Retrocolic Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass for Morbid Obesity

  • Michael A. Edwards
  • Daniel B. Jones
  • James Ellsmere
  • Ronit Grinbaum
  • Benjamin E. SchneiderEmail author
Research Articles


Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass(LRYGBP) is the most commonly performed operation for the treatment of morbid obesity in the United States. Previous reports suggest that postoperative complications may be influenced by Roux limb orientation (antecolic versus retrocolic), although thisremains controversial. The aim of this study was toanalyze our experience with anastomotic leaks following LRYGBP with an antecolic- versus retrocolicrouted Roux limb.


During the 2-year period of June 2003 to June 2005, 353 patients underwent a LRYGBP. 135 were antecolic and 218 retrocolic. All cases were performedby one of three bariatric surgeons. The decisionto perform antecolic versus retrocolic LRYGBP was left to the surgeon’s preference. The primary outcome measure was anastomotic leak.


Mean follow-up was 28 weeks. There wereno perioperative deaths. Overall complication rate was 16.9%. 17 gastrojejunal leaks (4.8%) were identified, consisting of 12 intraoperative leaks (3.4%) and 5 postoperative leaks (1.4%). Postoperative gastrojejunal leak rate was higher in the antecolic group (P = 0.04).


Mortality and complication rates were consistent with reported benchmarks on the efficacy and safety of LRYGBP. Our review suggests that anastomotic leak may be more common after antecolic than after retrocolic LRYGBP for morbid obesity. A prospective randomized study is needed to determine whether antecolically-routed Roux limb is an independent predictor for anastomotic leak following LRYGBP.

Key words

Morbid obesity antecolic retrocolic laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass complications anastomotic leak 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Edwards
    • 1
  • Daniel B. Jones
    • 2
  • James Ellsmere
    • 3
  • Ronit Grinbaum
    • 4
  • Benjamin E. Schneider
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Assistant Professor of SurgeryMedical College of GeorgiaAugustaUSA
  2. 2.Associate Professor of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Therapeutic Endoscopy Fellow, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Surgical Research Fellow, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  5. 5.Instructor in Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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