Anastomotic leakages or staple line defects after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and primary laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), respectively, with consecutive bariatric revisional surgery are associated with relevant morbidity and mortality rates. Endoscopic vacuum therapy (EVT) with or without stent-over-sponge (SOS) has been shown to be a promising therapy in foregut wall defects of various etiologies and may therefore be applied in the treatment of postbariatric leaks.
We report the results of six consecutive patients treated with EVT (83% in combination with SOS) for early postoperative leakages in close proximity to the esophagogastric junction (EGJ) after LSG (n = 2) and RYGB (n = 4) from May 2016 to May2018.
All patients (2/6 male, median age 51 years, median BMI 44.2 kg/m2) were treated successfully without further signs of persisting leakage at the last gastroscopy. The lesions’ size ranged from 0.5 cm2 to 9 cm2, and the leaks were connected to large (max. 225 cm2) abscess cavities in 80% of the cases. Median duration of treatment (= EVT in situ) was 23.5 days (range, 7–89). The number of endoscopic interventions ranged from 1 to 24 (median, n = 7), with a median duration between vacuum sponge replacements of 4 days.
EVT is an effective and safe treatment for staple line defects or anastomotic leakage after bariatric surgeries and can therefore be adopted for the treatment of midgut wall defects. Further studies with a greater number of patients comparing surgical drainage alone or in combination with EVT versus EVT alone are needed.