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Minerva Chir. 2009 Jun;64(3):265-76.

Management of complications after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville, SC, USA.


Obesity has become an increasing problem in developed countries and laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) is one of the leading treatments for this disease. Although studies show that it is effective in reducing weight and lessening comorbidities, both early and late complications can occur. Early complications include venous thromboembolism, anastomotic leak, and hemorrhage. Late complications include obstruction, anastomotic stenosis, fistula, ulcer, cholelithiasis and nutritional deficiencies. Diagnosis of these complications is often challenging due to the lack of specificity of the presenting signs and symptoms. A high index of suspicion for detecting these complications is universally advocated. Fortunately, mortality from this procedure is rare. Management of the complications is generally consistent with basic surgical principles and surgical reinterventions can often be performed either endoscopically or laparoscopically depending on the situation and the surgeon's expertise. The available literature is confounded by mixing of results between open and laparoscopic techniques as well as the substantial differences in technique between authors reporting their outcomes. Although there is no consensus for managing the reported complications of LRYGB surgery, this article reviews the current literature and describes the presentation, diagnosis, and management of each of the early and late complications associated with the procedure.

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