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Complications After Sleeve Gastrectomy for Morbid Obesity

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Abstract

Background

Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is an increasingly used bariatric surgical procedure.

Methods

We report our complications after LSG and compared to 17 other published LSG series. The individual types of complications for the published series were evaluated, with sample size calculations being performed to determine the number of patients required for a study that would detect halving the odds of the most common complications.

Results

Of 53 patients who underwent LSG, 42 were women. Mean age was 51 years with a mean initial body mass index of 53.5 kg/m2 and mean of eight comorbidities. Mean excess weight loss was 52.2% at 12 months and 59.2% at 18 months. No patients died. Five patients (9.4%) developed complications which included two staple line leaks that required reoperations, one preceded by a salmonella infection associated with vomiting, the other by postoperative pneumonia associated with coughing. Of the three staple line hemorrhages, one required hospitalization. The median complication rate for the 17 articles was 4.5%. With the number of patients for each series taken into account, the current series had a complication rate of 1.24 (95% CI 0.45–2.87) times that of the 17 published series. Published LSG complications were diverse, with the most common being reoperation, occurring after 3.6% of procedures. A study designed to detect halving the odds of reoperation would require more than 3,000 procedures.

Conclusion

LSG is a safe procedure with low morbidity. Because leaks and reoperation in this series were preceded by large increments in intraabdominal pressure, attention to staple line reinforcements that increase burst pressure may be warranted.

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Correspondence to Eldo E. Frezza.

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Frezza, E.E., Reddy, S., Gee, L.L. et al. Complications After Sleeve Gastrectomy for Morbid Obesity. OBES SURG 19, 684–687 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-008-9677-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-008-9677-6

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