Three-year follow-up study of retrocolic versus antecolic laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

Markus K Müller, Josef Guber, Stefan Wildi, Ivo Guber, Pierre-Alain Clavien, Markus Weber
Obesity Surgery 2007, 17 (7): 889-93

BACKGROUND: Since 1994, laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGBP) has gained popularity for the treatment of morbid obesity. In analogy to open surgery, the operation was initially performed in a retrocolic fashion. Later, an antecolic procedure was introduced. According to short-term studies, the antecolic technique is favorable. In this study, we compared the retrocolic vs the antecolic technique with 3 years of follow-up. We hypothesized that the antecolic technique is superior to the retrocolic in terms of operation time and morbidity.

METHODS: 33 consecutive patients with retrocolic technique and 33 patients with antecolic technique of LRYGBP were compared, using a matched-pair analysis. Data were extracted from a prospectively collected database. The matching criteria were: BMI, age, gender and type of bypass (proximal or distal). The end-points of the study were: operation time, length of hospital stay, incidence of early and late complications, reoperation rates and weight loss in the follow-up over 36 months.

RESULTS: In the retrocolic group, operation time was 219 min compared to 188 min in the antecolic group (P = 0.036). In the retrocolic group, 3 patients (9.1%) developed an internal hernia and 4 patients (12.1%) suffered from anastomotic strictures. In the antecolic group, 2 patients (6.1%) developed internal hernias and in 3 patients (9.1%) anastomotic strictures occurred. Median hospital stay in the retrocolic group was 8 days compared to 7 days in the antecolic group. In the antecolic group, the mean BMI dropped from 46 kg/m2 to 32 kg/m2 postoperatively after 36 months. This corresponds to an excess BMI loss of 66%. In the retrocolic group, we found a similar decrease in BMI from preoperative 45 kg/m2 to 34 kg/m2 after 36 months (P = 0.276).

CONCLUSION: The results of our study demonstrate a reduction of operation time and hospital stay in the antecolic group compared to the retrocolic group. No differences between the two groups were found regarding morbidity and weight loss. Taken together, the antecolic seems to be superior to the retrocolic technique.

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