Impact of complete mesenteric closure on small bowel obstruction and internal mesenteric hernia after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

Robert E Brolin, Venkata N Kella
Surgery for Obesity and related Diseases: Official Journal of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery 2013, 9 (6): 850-4

BACKGROUND: Although it is generally accepted that closure of mesenteric defects after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) reduces the incidence of small bowel obstruction (SBO), data supporting this belief are inconsistent. After a spike in acute SBO cases in our LRYGB patients, we changed our technique of mesenteric closure. The objective of this study was to determine whether modification of our technique of mesenteric closure would decrease the incidence of SBO and internal hernia after LRYGB.

METHODS: The records of 872 consecutive patients who had antecolic LRYGB by 1 surgeon over a 9-year interval were reviewed for acute SBO. The first 654 patients, mean follow up = 100±12 months, had incomplete mesenteric closure versus complete closure in 218 remaining patients, mean follow up = 40±14 months. Minimum follow up was 1 year.

RESULTS: Total incidence of acute SBO was 4.0% (35/872), including 4.4% (29/654) in the incomplete closure group versus 2.8% (6/218) in the complete closure patients. Seventeen (2.6%) of the incomplete closure patients with acute SBO had internal hernias versus 1 (.5%) in the complete closure group. Twenty-six patients with incomplete closure developed symptoms of SBO and subsequently had elective repair of mesenteric hernias versus none in complete closure group (P<.02). Postoperative morbidity and mortality rates after surgery for SBO were 30% and 7.4% in incomplete group versus zero in patients with complete closure.

CONCLUSION: Complete closure of mesenteric defects in antecolic LRYGB resulted in a significant reduction in internal mesenteric hernias. Complications were also reduced after operations for SBO in patients who had complete mesenteric closure.

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