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Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech. 2015 Feb;25(1):89-93. doi: 10.1097/SLE.0000000000000026.

Management of staple line leaks after sleeve gastrectomy in a consecutive series of 378 patients.

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  • 1*Department of General, Digestive and Endocrine Surgery, IRCAD-IHU, University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France ‚ĆDepartment of General Surgery, UCSC, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Policlinico Gemelli, Rome, Italy ‚Ä°IRCAD-AITS, Show Chow Health Care System, Changhua, Taiwan.



Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is gaining acceptance as a stand-alone bariatric procedure with proven efficacy on weight loss and obesity-related comorbidities. A specific and potentially severe complication of LSG is the staple line leak (SLL). Our aim was to report the SLL rate and its management in a prospective cohort of 378 LSGs.


A total of 378 patients underwent LSG from July 2005 to July 2011. The gastric transection was performed by an initial 60 mm firing of 4.5 mm staples at the antrum and successive 60 mm firings of 3.5 mm staples at the gastric body and fundus toward the left diaphragmatic crus. A 36 Fr bougie was used to calibrate the gastric tube. The staple line was systematically reinforced with a partial-thickness running suture.


The overall complications and SLL rate were 20/378 (5.29%) and 9/378 (2.38%), respectively. SLLs were managed by laparoscopic (n=2) or open (n=1) exploration, drainage and endoscopic self-expandable covered stent, computed tomography-guided percutaneous drainage (n=2), or a self-expandable covered stent alone (n=4). Medical support including total parenteral nutrition and adapted antibiotics was started in all patients. The combined treatment modalities were successful in all cases.


SLL was the most common complication of LSG accounting for half of the overall complications. Percutaneous drainage and self-covered stents combined with antibiotics and parenteral nutrition are effective for SLL and should be proposed as first-line treatment in stable patients.

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