Currently, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is one of bariatric surgeries most commonly performed in the world. The most frequent complications of surgeries of this type, with the highest mortality rate, include bleeding into the GI tract and peritoneal cavity, and sleeve staple line leaks. These severe complications prolong the hospital stay, and often are a cause of patient’s death. While in a case of bleeding the procedure appears to be obvious, so far no uniform and standard guidelines have been established for the group of patients with staple line leaks.
The aim of the study was to report results of treatment for staple line leaks following laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy with a laparoscopic procedure and simultaneous endoscopic insertion of a self-expandable stent.
Material and methods. 152 laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomies were performed from April 2009 to December 2014. The BMI median was 46.9, and the age median was 42 years. Staple line leaks developed in 3 out of 152 people (1.97%). All patients who developed this complication were included in the study. The treatment involved laparoscopic revision surgery with simultaneous endoscopic insertion of a self-expandable stent (Boston Scientific, Wallflex Easophageal Stent, 150×23 mm) into the gastric stump during gastroscopy.
Results. Leaks following laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy were diagnosed on day 5 after the procedure, on average. Intervention consisting of laparoscopy and endoscopic insertion of a self-expandable stent was initiated within 14 hours of diagnosing the leak, on average. The mean time for which the stent was kept was 5 weeks (4–6 weeks). Stenting proved to be fully effective in all patients, where after discharging home, a cutaneous fistula, periodically (every 2-3 weeks) discharging several millilitres of matter, persisted in one patient. The mean time for the leak healing in 2 patients, in whom the described method was successful in treatment of this complication, was 37 days. No patient died in the perioperative or follow-up period.
Conclusions. The proposed method for treatment of staple line leaks following laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy by combined laparoscopic rinsing and draining of the peritoneal cavity and endoscopic insertion of a self-expandable stent is an interesting and worth recommending method for treatment of this complication.