Major complications of bariatric surgery: endoscopy as first-line treatment

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Leaks are the most frequent early postoperative complication in the two most popular bariatric procedures, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. Multimodal therapy based on self-expandable stent insertion ‘to cover’ the defect is the most widely documented technique to date with a reported success rate >80%. Additional experimental techniques ‘to close’ the defect or ‘to drain’ the paradigestive cavity have been reported with encouraging results. The role of endoscopy in early postoperative bleeding is limited to management of bleeds arising from fresh sutures and the diagnosis of chronic sources of bleeding such as marginal ulcer after RYGB. Post-RYGB stricture is a more delayed complication than leaks and the role of endoscopic dilation as a first-line treatment in this indication is well documented. Ring and band placement are outdated procedures for obesity treatment, but might still be an indication for endoscopic removal, a technique which does not compromise further surgery, if needed.

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