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World J Gastrointest Endosc. 2015 May 16;7(5):518-23. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v7.i5.518.

Endoscopic management of bariatric complications: A review and update.

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Caolan Walsh, Department of Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 2Y9, Canada.


With over a third of Americans being considered obese, bariatric procedures have now become the most performed operation be general surgeons in the United States. The most common operations are the Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, the Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy, and the Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band. With over 340000 bariatric procedures preformed worldwide in 2011, the absolute number of complications related to these operations is also increasing. Complications, although few, can be life threatening. One of the most dreaded acute complication is the anastomotic/staple line leak. If left undiagnosed or untreated they can lead to sepsis, multi organ failure, and death. Smaller or contained leaks can develop into fistulas. Although most patients with an acute anastomotic leak return to the operating room, there has been a trend to manage the stable patient with an endoscopic stent. They offer an advantage by creating a barrier between enteric content and the leak, and will allow the patients to resume enteral feeding much earlier. Fistulas are a complex and chronic complication with high morbidity and mortality. Postoperative bleeding although rare may also be treated locally with endoscopy. Stenosis is a more frequent late complication and is best-managed with endoscopic therapy. Stents may not heal every fistula or stenosis, however they may prevent certain patients the need for additional revisional surgery.


Anastomotic leak; Bariatric complications; Bariatric surgery; Endoscopic treatment; Roux-en-Y gastric bypass; Self-expanding metal stent; Sleeve gastrectomy

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