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Surg Endosc. 2007 Apr;21(4):665-8. Epub 2007 Feb 7.

A comparison of 399 open and 568 laparoscopic gastric bypasses performed during a 4-year period.

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Department of Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, D-5219 MCN, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.



Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB) was introduced at the authors' institution 5 years ago. The authors analyzed the short- and long-term results of this procedure compared with those for the same procedure using the laparotomy approach over the same period.


Retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected bariatric database used the outcome end points used by the American Society of Bariatric Surgery (ASBS) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in their center of excellence programs.


From January 2001 to July 2005, 568 laparoscopic and 399 open gastric bypasses were performed at Vanderbilt University. The patients were from the same bariatric surgery program and therefore received the same pre- and postoperative care. The hospital length of stay in the laparoscopic group was significantly shorter (2.5 +/- 2.4 days) than in the open group (3.7 +/- 3.7 days; p = 0.001). The procedure time was significantly shorter in the laparoscopic group (164 +/- 50 min) than in the open group (195 +/- 50 min; p = 0.0001). The follow-up assessment response at 2 years was 76.6%. At 2 years, the excess weight loss (EWL) was significantly greater in the laparoscopic group (71.3% +/- 18.4%) than in the open group (67.3% +/- 15.3%; p = 0.03). The wound infection rate was significantly higher in open group (9.2%) than in the laparoscopic group (1.7%; p = 0.001). There was no significant difference in 30-day mortality: open (0.50%) versus laparoscopic (0.17%; p = 0.371). There was no significant difference in the 30-day reoperation rate between the open (2.4%) and laparoscopic (2.6%; p = 0.705) groups. The 30-day readmission rate was similar in the open (5.0%) and laparoscopic (5.2%; p = 0.852) groups, as was the rate of leakage from the gastrojejunostomy in the open (0.50%) and laparoscopic (0.35%; p = 0.127) groups. The conversion rate from laparoscopic procedure to laparotomy was 1.7%.


In the authors' institution, a laparoscopic bariatric surgery program with a very low rate of morbidity and mortality has been introduced. Operative time, hospital stay, and wound complications are reduced with the laparoscopic approach. The laparoscopic and open procedures are equally safe, with equivalent 30-day mortality, readmission, reoperation, and gastrojejunostomy leakage rates.

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