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Anastomotic leak at the gastrojejunostomy in Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is a rare, but serious, complication. Little has been published on leaks at other sites. To assess incidence, risk factors, treatment, and outcome of small bowel leaks at the enteroenteral anastomosis (EA) and undiagnosed iatrogenic small bowel perforations in primary Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Nationwide cohort, Sweden. All leaks within 30 days in 41,342 patients (age 40.8 [standard deviation 11.1] yr, females 68%, and body mass index 42.4 [standard deviation 5.4] kg/m2) between 2007 and 2014 in the Scandinavian Obesity Surgery Registry were assessed. Register data and outcomes were verified by reviewing patient charts. Logistic regression estimated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals for significant risk factors. The incidence of small bowel leaks was .3%. Iatrogenic perforations were diagnosed earlier than EA leaks, 3.6 versus 6.5 days after surgery (P = .02). EA leaks were seen in 75 patients (.2%), with surgery at a low-volume center (<125 cases/yr, OR 2.1 [1.0-4.1]) and prolonged operative time (≥90 min, OR 3.5 [1.1-11.0]) as risk factors. The risk of iatrogenic small bowel perforations, .1%, was tripled by prolonged operative time (OR 3.4 [1.2-9.4]). Surgical reintervention was required in 97% of leaks, repairing the defect and draining the abdominal cavity in most cases. A third of the patients required intensive care, of which 5% developed multiorgan failure and 1% died. Small bowel leaks, seen in .3%, were associated to prolonged operative time, and surgery at a low-volume center for EA leaks. Surgical reintervention was common, while mortality was low. Copyright © 2020 American Society for Bariatric Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Bjarni Vidarsson, Magnus Sundbom, David Edholm. Incidence and treatment of small bowel leak after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: a cohort study from the Scandinavian Obesity Surgery Registry. Surgery for obesity and related diseases : official journal of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery. 2020 Aug;16(8):1005-1010

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PMID: 32471726

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