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JSLS. 2010 Apr-Jun;14(2):213-6. doi: 10.4293/108680810X12785289144151.

Failure of mesenteric defect closure after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

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  • 1Division of Gastrointestinal and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.



Bowel obstructions following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) are a significant issue often caused by internal herniation. Controversy continues as to whether mesenteric defect closure is necessary to decrease the incidence of internal hernias after RYGB. Our purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of closing the mesenteric defect at the jejunojejunostomy in patients who underwent RYGB by examining this potential space at reoperation for any reason.


We retrospectively reviewed medical records of patients undergoing surgery after RYGB from August 1999 to October 2008 to determine the status of the mesentery at the jejunojejunostomy.


Eighteen patients underwent surgery 2 to 19 months after open (n=8) or laparoscopic (n=10) RYGB. All patients had documented suture closure of their jejunojejunostomy at the time of RYGB. Permanent (n=12) or absorbable (n=6) sutures were used for closures. Patients lost 23.6 kg to 62.1 kg before a reoperation was required for a ventral hernia (n=8), cholecystectomy (n=4), abdominal pain (n=4), or small bowel obstruction (n=2). Fifteen of the 18 patients had open mesenteric defects at the jejunojejunostomy despite previous closure; none were the cause for reoperation.


Routine suture closure of mesenteric defects after RYGB may not be an effective permanent closure likely due to the extensive fat loss and weight loss within the mesentery.

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