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Am J Surg. 2002 Dec;184(6):617-20; discussion 620.

Establishing a laparoscopic gastric bypass program.

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Department of Surgery, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.



To evaluate the outcomes for laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in a newly developed bariatric surgery program.


A prospective analysis of the initial 100 patients who underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass at a community based teaching hospital between December 2000 and October 2001 was performed. Study endpoints included operative time, early (less than 7 days) and late complication rates, hospital length of stay (LOS), time to initiation of oral diet, and percentage of excess body weight loss.


There were 91 women and 9 men with a mean age of 39 years (range 21 to 57). Mean preoperative weight was 126.4 kg (range 92.3 kg to 214 kg), with a mean preoperative body mass index of 47.4 (range 37.3 to 75.7). Ninety (90%) patients had at least one significant medical comorbidity (median = 6 per patient). Mean operative time was 2.4 hours (range 1.0 to 6.5; 3.0 hours for the first 50 patients and 1.8 hours for the last 50 patients). Three patients required conversion to open gastric bypass, all due to equipment failure (two harmonic scalpel failures and one linear stapler malfunction). Seven patients had early complications, 3 with anastomotic hemorrhage requiring transfusion, 3 with intestinal leaks requiring reoperation, and 1 with transected nasogastric tube. Eleven patients had late complications: 5 patients with small bowel obstruction, all due to herniation through the transverse colon mesentery (these occurred early in the series, prompting a change in technique, with no subsequent occurrences), 3 with gastrojejunostomy strictures requiring endoscopic dilation, 2 superficial wound infections, and 1 port-site incisional hernia. No complications occurred in the last 40 patients. No deaths occurred. Median hospital stay was 2 days (range 1 to 37); 3 days in the first 50 cases and 1 day in the last 50 cases. The median number of days to the start of an oral diet was 1 day. Average excess body weight loss was 34% (median follow-up 4 months).


Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a technically challenging procedure that can be safely integrated into a bariatric treatment program with good results. Improved outcomes, shorter operative times, and fewer complications are associated with increased surgical experience.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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