Staple-line Disruption Following Vertical Banded Gastroplasty
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Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency with which staple-line disruption occurs following vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG) in morbidly obese patients, to investigate the effect of this complication on weight loss, and to identify any clinical symptoms that might be associated with staple-line disruption. Methods: From April of 1992 to June of 1994, 60 patients with morbid obesity underwent VBG. Double-contrast radiographic examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract was performed on all patients at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months postoperation to assess the integrity of the staple line. At these same times, the weight of each patient was measured, so that the patients found to have staple-line disruption could be compared to those without disruption in terms of weight loss. Results: Over the duration of the study, staple-line disruption was found in 12 patients (20%). All of these patients demonstrated satisfactory weight loss. Between the group of patients with staple-line disruption versus the group without disruption, weight loss did not differ significantly at any time up to 3 years postoperation. In addition, in the patients with staple-line disruption, no clear symptomatology that might be associated with this complication was discovered. Conclusions: Our results lead to the conclusion that small disruptions in the staple line lack clinical importance and do not significantly affect weight loss for at least the first 3 postoperative years. Furthermore, staple-line disruption does not seem to be associated with any specific clinical symptoms. Follow-up of all patients via barium meal is the correct approach for discovering the exact incidence of this complication.
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