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Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2009 Sep-Oct;5(5):565-70. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2008.10.013. Epub 2008 Nov 18.

Internal hernia at Petersen's space after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: 6.2% incidence without closure--a single surgeon series of 1047 cases.

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Carolina Weight Loss Surgery, Concord, North Carolina, USA.



Recent reports describing a gastric bypass technique and the need for closure at Petersen's space using an antecolic antegastric laparoscopic method have differed in the incidence of internal hernia. We report a 6.2% incidence without closure of Petersen's space in a 1047-case, single-surgeon practice.


The data from 1047 patients undergoing antecolic antegastric gastric bypass between January 2001 and December 2006 were prospectively collected and retrospectively evaluated for formation of an internal hernia at Petersen's space. All cases were performed by a single surgeon using an antecolic antegastric technique without closure of the mesenteric space and with division of 5 cm of small bowel mesentery. The biliopancreatic limb length was created at 50 cm during the first 2 years of the study and then at 50 or 100 cm depending on the patient's body mass index.


Of the 1047 patients, 73 underwent laparoscopic exploration for varying degrees of abdominal pain, unexplained nausea or vomiting, or radiographic evidence of an internal hernia. Of the 73 cases, 65 were Petersen's space hernias, for an incidence of 6.2%, 7 were mesenteric enteroenterostomy hernias, for an incidence of .7%, and 1 was negative for intra-abdominal pathologic findings. A direct relationship was found between the biliopancreatic limb length and the frequency of biliopancreatic internal hernia formation (P = .0194), and a high rate of false-negative radiographic reports were noted. Subsequent to these 1047 patients, we have had no internal hernias with space closure in 339 cases.


Closure of Petersen's space is important in preventing the morbidity of reoperation and the incidence of internal hernia.

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