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VersaStepTM trocar hernia rate in unclosed fascial defects in bariatric patients

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Use of the VersaStepTM trocar system (US Surgical, Norwalk, CT) has the perceived advantage of minimal trocar-related hernias in patients undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB). We performed a retrospective review of our last 747 consecutive operative procedures using these trocars.

Methods and procedures

The patient population was 747 consecutive patients who underwent laparoscopic RYGB at Duke University Health System Weight Loss Surgery Center from January 2002 through April 2005. A total of 3735 radially expanded trocar sites were used. VersaStepTM trocars were used in all cases. The port configuration included one supraumbilical Hasson port, two 12-mm ports, and three 5-mm ports. The Hasson port was closed with a figure-of-eight number 1 Polysorb suture. All other trocar sites had no fascial closure. Intestinal anastomoses were created with a linear stapler in all of the laparoscopic cases, with hand suturing of the residual enterotomy. The fascial incisions were therefore not extended to accommodate an EEA stapler. The charts were reviewed for occurrence of subsequent trocar site hernias.


There were no hernias at any of the VersaStepTM trocar sites—an incidence of 0%. There were nine incisional hernias at the Hasson port site which later required surgical repair—an incidence of 1.20%.


There were no hernias detected at any of the 1494 12-mm or 2241 5-mm VersaStepTM trocar sites, despite lack of suture closure. At the Hasson port site, there was a hernia incidence of 1.20%. In the bariatric RYGB population, routine suture closure of the fascia or muscle is not necessary when using radially expanding VersaStepTM trocars.

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Correspondence to W. H. Johnson.

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Johnson, W.H., Fecher, A.M., McMahon, R.L. et al. VersaStepTM trocar hernia rate in unclosed fascial defects in bariatric patients. Surg Endosc 20, 1584–1586 (2006).

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