Technical Details of Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Leading to Lowered Leak Rate: Discussion of 1070 Consecutive Cases
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Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy is a widely utilized and effective surgical procedure for dramatic weight loss in obese patients. Leak at the sleeve staple line is the most serious complication of this procedure, occurring in 1-3% of cases. Techniques to minimize the risk of sleeve gastrectomy leaks have been published although no universally agreed upon set of techniques exists. This report describes a single-surgeon experience with an approach to sleeve leak prevention resulting in a progressive decrease in leak rate over 5 years. Methods. 1070 consecutive sleeve gastrectomy cases between 2012 and 2016 were reviewed retrospectively. Patient characteristics, sleeve leaks, and percent body weight loss at 6 months were reported for each year. Conceptual and technical changes aimed towards leak reduction are presented. Results. With the implementation of the described techniques of the sleeve gastrectomy, the rate of sleeve leaks fell from 4% in 2012 to 0% in 2015 and 2016 without a significant change in weight loss, as depicted by 6-month change in body weight and percent excess BMI lost. Conclusion. In this single-surgeon experience, sleeve gastrectomy leak rate has fallen to 0% since the implementation of specific technical modifications in the procedure.
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