Operative technique for converting a failed vertical banded gastroplasty to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

Rodrigo Gonzalez, Scott F Gallagher, Krista Haines, Michel M Murr
Journal of the American College of Surgeons 2005, 201 (3): 366-74

BACKGROUND: Bariatric surgeons are increasingly encountering patients with failed weight-loss operations. Conversion from vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG) to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is the most common revisional operation in our practice. We reviewed our experience in converting from VBG to RYGB using a basic five-step surgical technique.

STUDY DESIGN: We reviewed data on all patients undergoing revisional surgery for failed VBG, defined as patients with body mass index >/=35 kg/m(2), weight gain, poor control of comorbidities, staple-line dehiscence, or band-specific complications. The five basic steps include identification of the band, delineation of the extent of the pouch, division of the stomach, preparation of the Roux limb, and completion of the cardiojejunostomy.

RESULTS: We have undertaken 28 conversions from VBG to RYGB. Median age was 51 years (range 27 to 65 years), preoperative body mass index was 40 kg/m(2) (range 20 to 58 kg/m(2)), and 25 patients (89%) were women. Indications for revision were band-related complications (13 patients), staple-line disruption (9 patients), and inadequate weight loss (6 patients). Median operative time was 185 minutes (range 105 to 465 minutes), estimated blood loss was 450 mL (range 100 to 2,500 mL), postoperative complications occurred in 6 patients (21%), and length of hospitalization was 5 days (range 3 to 69 days). Median postoperative body mass index was 32 kg/m(2) (range 20 to 41 kg/m(2)) at a followup time of 16 months (range 1 to 32 months).

CONCLUSIONS: The technique described facilitates the operative approach to patients with failed VBG, providing guidelines for safe dissection and division of the gastric pouch for conversion to RYGB. Revisional bariatric operations are technically difficult and are associated with relatively higher complication rates than those reported for primary operations.

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