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Laparoscopic vs Open Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: A Prospective Randomized Trial

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Background: The feasibility of laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (Lap-RYGBP) for morbid obesity is well documented. In a prospective randomized trial, we compared laparoscopic and open surgery. Methods: 51 patients (48 females, mean (± SD) age 36 ± 9 years and BMI 42 ± 4 kg/m2) were randomly allocated to either laparoscopy (n=30) or open surgery (n=21). All patients were followed for a minimum of 1 year. Results: In the laparoscopy group, 7 patients (23%) were converted to open surgery due to various procedural difficulties. In an analysis, with the converted patients excluded, the morphine doses used postoperatively were significantly (p< 0.005) lower in the laparoscopic group compared to the open group. Likewise, postoperative hospital stay was shorter (4 vs 6 days, p<0.025). Six patients in the laparoscopy group had to be re-operated due to Roux-limb obstruction in the mesocolic tunnel within 5 weeks. The weight loss expressed in decrease in mean BMI units after year was 14 and 13 after 1 ± 3 ± 3 laparoscopy and open surgery,respectively (not significant). Conclusions: Both laparoscopic and open RYGBP are effective and well received surgical procedures in morbid obesity. Reduced postoperative pain, shorter hospital stay and shorter sick-leave are obvious benefits of laparoscopy but conversions and/or reoperations in 1/4 of the patients indicate that Lap-RYGBP at present must be considered an investigational procedure.

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Westling, A., Gustavsson, S. Laparoscopic vs Open Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: A Prospective Randomized Trial. OBES SURG 11, 284–292 (2001).

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