Category: Lap Sleeve Gastretomy
There are differing opinions, based on a broad set of scientific publication, wether or not gallbladder should be removed at the time of weight loss surgery. Obviously, Cholecystectomy is a stand alone general surgical procedure that is often performed due to gallstones and/or gallbladder disease with a variety of symptoms. However, the focus of this blog will deal with Bariatric Surgery and Cholecystectomy.
Rapid weight loss can increase a patients chance of forming gallstones. This rapid weight loss can be as little as 3-5 pounds per week. Weight loss surgery can increase your risk for gallstone formation. Several of the common thought processes the mechanism of this is, obesity may be linked to higher cholesterol in the bile, larger gallbladders, high fat diet and larger abdominal girth.
When a patient is having the Duodenal Switch (DS) Bariatric operation, or having a revision of a failed gastric bypass to the DS, I always remove the gallbladder. This is because there isn’t an anatomical route to utilize endoscopic procedure for an ERCP should the need rise.
In the case of a patient undergoing Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, if there are any indications or complaints of abdominal pain then an ultrasound is done. If there are findings of gallstones or other disease of the gallbladder, then a cholecystectomy is performed at the same time as the Sleeve Gastrectomy.
In my opinion, every patient having the Gastric Bypass (RNY) should also have the gallbladder removed because of the anatomical limitations after surgery that prevents the use of ERCP if needed. Some clinicians will place the patient on a long term medications to reduce the chance of gladstone formation after surgery, which themselves have side effects limiting the compliance in most patients.
Further information on Common Bile Duct Dilatation and ERCP
The Prize winners are Jo and Kimberly! Congratulations ladies and enjoy the Obesity Help National Conference! Thank you to all that participated in the Giveaway!
We are holding a review and update giveaway for two different prizes! Thank you for your participation!
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Failed Band: My earliest memory of feeling ashamed of being “too heavy” is from kindergarten. For over 30+ years I have struggled with gaining weight, trying to lose weight, or going mad maintaining my weight. There is no shortcut that does not come back to bite you in the butt. There is no diet that effectively changes you permanently. For me exercise is a mindful struggle I sometimes successfully commit to over small periods of time.
I was desperate and ready for a real change. I wanted a genuine difference in the way I consumed and related to food and decided the lap band was the way to go. It was marketed as a “non intrusive, non permanent, easily reversible weight loss tool” and that is EXACTLY what I thought I needed and wanted. I was so very wrong, after my surgery I was considered a “success”. In fact up until the removal of my second slipped failed band, esophagus damage, and poor nutrition; I was considered a success. I look back and think how troubling this was/is. How very damaging to the person struggling and dealing with weight issues. Truly, it messed with my mind and my ability to speak up, admit to myself and out loud the band was NOT working for me. In fact, if I’m completely truthful, it was dangerous and turned me into a residue of the person I once was. I was not able to eat comfortably or eat out any place I happen to be. With the Band, I would need to consider how long I was going to be away from home because I could only eat small bites in small quantities to ensure I did not get stuck or worse vomit what I put inside my mouth. Yes, I had lost almost 100 lbs, but I had given my quality of life as payment. My guilt ensured I would never speak up or complain since I felt “fortunate” and grateful to have had this second chance at life. In my mind, speaking up meant possibly losing the tool (lap band) that allowed me to change my life and reality. Because for the first time in memory, I was the same weight at the start, middle, and end of the year. I did not have to buy different sizes of clothing or underclothing. I could predict what I might wear since my size was stable and my clothes fit. The reality is and was far from this corrupted self truth. I was unhealthy with the restrictive nature of how the lap band worked. In fact my band slipped twice after a severe stomach virus. I later learned of many other symptoms I was making excuses for and quite frankly straight out ignored.
I met Dr. Keshishian (Dr. K) at my lowest weight and at the lowest point in my health. I finally realized, the lap band needed to come out after it had slipped again. It was clear I needed a doctor who would be straight with me and cared for my health and not his/her “success” rates and have the expertise to deal with my failed band. I researched and called several bariatric surgeons then attempted to make appointments with each to discuss the urgent band removal surgery I needed (not as simple as you would think). I was also hopeful I might have the option to undergo the bariatric sleeve surgery because I knew I would not be able to keep my weight under control on my own. I was unwilling to undergo the emotional and mental torment of gaining and losing weight for the rest of my days. I succeeded in making three appointments and truthfully after meeting and speaking to Dr. K and his office staff I canceled them immediately. Let me start with the staff as that REALLY is important; they help you feel comfortable with the doctor, the procedure, and overall experience. They represent and reflect how the doctor you’re about to see will treat his patients. The expected standard within Dr. Keshishian’s office immediately made me feel like I called the right place. I was taken by the knowledgable, kind tone and efficient manner in which they requested the necessary information to effectively help me get from the starting point to the end goal. When I got to my appointment, Dr. Keshishian BLEW MY MIND. He not only presented himself as an approachable person I immediately felt at ease with but also reveal my concerns and questions. He treated me like a person. This may sound strange but this doctor made me feel like a human being with real concerns. He listened to me, asked questions rather than talked at me, and explained how and what was happening to my body and mind. He spent 3 hours with me to answer all my questions (even if I repeated them), draw diagrams, show me video to better help me understand what was happening, and then just sat with me while I cried for a moment. I cried because my 30+ years journey of ups and downs, crazy and insanity finally led me to the door of a man who understood and knew how to help without judgment. WHICH DOCTOR DOES THIS! None that I know.
My life post surgery is what I always hoped it would be. I am able to eat vegetables, leafy greens, fruit, grains and basically a well rounded diet. What’s amazing is that I naturally do not crave sweets, heavy creamy dressings, sauces and fill up quickly. There is after all a difference between the restriction of a lap band and the feeling of being full with the sleeve which Dr. K patiently explained. Today I am able to go any where, at any time, enjoy the moment and the company rather than worry about what I’m not able to consume. My days of scanning to locate the nearest bathroom in case I need to dash to it are over.
As I write this today, I feel like a real person, not some transient hoping to savor my life at glimpses. I am a person that is balanced in my heart with the average person’s anxiety and mindful eating habits. The sleeve is not a magic end to weight gain, it does give you the fighting chance to make choices in life leading up to results you’re willing to work for.
~ Grateful and Mindful, Hasmik (September 2015 Sleeve Op Patient)
The 2015 ASMBS meeting was held November 2-6, 2015. It was combined with TOS (The Obesity Society) and had more than 5,600 attendees from all over the world in every aspect of obesity treatment. There were some interesting additions and deletions from this meeting compared to the past.
The one sentence that comes to my mind is “I told you so”.
One important addition was a DS course for Surgeons and Allied Health. This was very exciting, except the content and questions seemed to gravitate to SADI/SIPS/Loop rather than DS. Dr. Cottam was one of the moderators of the course. It seems that they have found the value in preserving the pyloric valve. It was clear that the discussion was driven by the need to come legitimize the single anastomosis procedures at this early stage with almost no data to prove long term outcome. With many of the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomies having re-gain and the they are looking for a surgery that the “masses” can perform. This was actually the term used by one of the presenters, implying that the duodenal switch needed to be simplified so that all surgeons, those who have pushed all other procedures can not offer Duodenal Switch to their patients with less than desirable outcome. Several surgeons also voiced their concern and dissatisfaction with the issues and complication of the RNY and want an alternative. There was much discussion regarding SADI/SIPS/Loop being investigational and that it shouldn’t be as it is a Sleeve Gastrectomy with a Billroth II. Dr. Roslin and Dr. Cottam discussed their SIPS nomenclature saying they wanted to stay away from something that had Ileostomy, suggesting bowel issues, or the word “SAD”i due to negative connotations. The point to be made is that the SADI and SIPS and the loop are all the same. I have also noticed other surgeons using SADS (Single Anastomosis Duodenal Switch). There is a great deal of industry behind these procedures and many surgeons being trained in courses funded by industry. One surgeon stood up and informed the entire course that they need to be clear with their patients about the surgery they are performing, as he had been in Bariatric chat rooms and there is upset within the community about SADI/SIPS/Loop being toted as “the same or similar to Duodenal Switch”.
There was also presenter who said “We are doing something new about every five years.” No, “we” are not. Some of us have stood by the surgery and techniques with the best long term outcomes and not gone with every “new” thing out there. The process of Duodenal Switch may have changes, open Vs. Lap, drains, location of incisions, post operative care and stay, but the tested procedure with the best outcome has been the duodenal switch operation and not the shortcut versions. Although, those of us that are standing by long term results seems to be in the minority. Why do I stand by Duodenal Switch? Because it works, when done correctly by making the length of the bowel proportional to the patient total bowel length, and height, and not just cookie cutter length for all patients, with the right follow-up, patient education, vitamin and mineral regime and eating habits.
A new addition was the Gastric Balloon, which in the research presented had a 60-70% re-gain rate and a no more than 10-15% weight loss one year only. This data represents more than 70% weight regain when the balloon is taken out. The Gastric Balloons can be left in between 4-6 months depending on the brand or type of balloon. The Gastric Balloon is not new to the Bariatrics and was first introduced in 1985. After 20 years and 3,608 patients the results were and average of 17.6% excess weight loss. It seems that we are re-gurgiating old procedures. There are many new medications that were front and center in this meeting.
The Adjustable Gastric Bands were missing from the exhibit hall this year. It is my hope and feeling from the other attendees that we may be seeing the era of the Adjustable Gastric Band being placed in patients come to an end. Although there are some still holding out that there are some patients that can do well with the Band.
Attending the 2015 ASMBS meeting this year, as it has every year, only reemphasized the importance of avoiding what has become the norm of chasing a simple solution that is fashionable and easy now. We stay convinced that the duodenal switch operation with the common channel and the alimentary length measured as a percentage of the total length is by far the best procedure with the proven track record. The patient should avoid the temptation of settling for an unproven procedure or device, because if history holds true, there will be a need for revision surgeries in the future.
When I think back as far into my childhood as I can remember my weight was always a problem. I grew up being made fun of and missed out on the simple things that normal kids do growing up because my weight caused limitations.
Even into early adulthood I was still made fun of, but I learned to deal with it. I tried different methods of trying to lose weight. I went to a gym, tried diet pills, followed diets, cut out foods, sodas, alcohol, etc. Sure these things worked (very slowly) for a period of time, but then I would plateau and became discouraged and gain whatever little weight I lost plus some. By the time I was 27yrs old I found myself at my heaviest at 245lbs and I was also pregnant with my first child. I was lucky enough to have a healthy pregnancy. However after I had my daughter, I went up to 265lbs and just couldn’t get it off. I felt the toll the weight was taking on my body. My hips would ache, go numb, my lower back would get stiff, I would become winded just walking upstairs, it was difficult to get up from sitting, my feet would be sore if I was standing too long. I began to realize this was just going to get worse as time went on and as my daughter got older parenting would become more difficult. It became an even bigger concern to be healthier now that I had a little one depending on me and looking up to me.
I decided to explore the option of surgery in late 2013. I knew it was something that my insurance would cover so long as I met the requirements so I set out to find a reputable surgeon in my area.
Surprisingly I reached out into a Facebook group and was overwhelmed with recommendations for Dr. Keshishian (I was originally interested in the DS surgery). I went for my consultation in December of 2013. Upon meeting with Dr. Keshishian I knew I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to perform this surgery on me. He was very upfront, honest, and straightforward with information regarding what was to come and the effort that needed to be put forth in order for this to work. The Gastric Sleeve was brought up and I decided to go with the sleeve surgery. I pushed forth and the staff at Dr. K’s office began the process of approval which happened to move very swiftly and smoothly.
I ended up having my surgery on 4/11/14 and I weighed 265lbs on the day of. Today, as I write this I am, approaching my 30th birthday healthier than I think I have ever been and I currently weigh 152lbs. The adjustment post-op was not an easy one, but it was well worthwhile. I am much more active, able to keep up and play with my daughter. I feel like I am living a normal life for once. I was scared, nervous, and had so many worries running through my head prior to surgery but now that I have gone through it I would make the same decision all over again in a second’s time.
Surgical informed consent is the document that summarizes the discussion that has been carried out between the treating physician and the patient. It also outlines the expectations as well as the potential complications of the treatment being proposed.
An informed consent should mean that the patient is absolutely clear as to the procedure agreed upon and that is reflected on the consent. No abbreviations are allowed on the consent forms. Clearly, there are instances when a physician or surgeon providing service may have to deviate from the proposed plan and agreed upon procedure on the consent because of unexpected findings in the operating room.
Any patient undergoing surgery should be acutely aware of the terminology and the language used. With regards to weight loss surgical procedures, RNY and GB is not acceptable because they are both abbreviations.
Duodenal Switch is a distinct well described procedure with its unique identifiable code (43845 for open procedure) that is recognized by hospitals, insurance companies and the surgical societies.
Duodenal Switch operation is not SADI, SIPS nor a loop Duodenal switch. Any attempt to interchanges these terms or operations is inaccurate the say the least.
A surgical informed consent is signed by the patient ( or the guardian) and the treating physician. This document however is reviewed and confirmed by all those involved in the patient’s care delivered in the hospital. The consent is reviewed by the admission staff when taking the patient for surgery, preoperative nursing and administrative staff, operating room circulating nurse as well as the anesthesia staff. One step most patients may not be aware is initiated after the general anesthesia is induced. The operating room staff, anesthesia staff and the operating physician all go through a set of checklist known as “Time out”.
“Time out” involves confirming the patient’s identification as well as the proposed procedure as the patient had discussed with the staff and confirming the consent.
It is imperative that a patient have complete understanding of their surgical options available to them and critical that they have full knowledge of the type of surgical procedure that has been consented to and performed.
Example of a Vena Cava Filter Video:
I never knew how big and unhealthy I was until I decided I wanted a change. My experience with Dr. Keshishian and his staff was nothing less than amazing. He was very informative and made me feel comfortable and safe when undergoing the procedure. Not only did he operate on me, but also my brother, dad, and uncle as well. We are all so grateful for him and his knowledge as a surgeon. My mom had gastric bypass in 2005 by a different doctor and has numerous problems. We are all hopeful that eventually Dr. Keshishian will be able to help her also. Having my whole family’s support and understanding made the experience much easier for me. I am now happier and healthier than I’ve ever thought I’d be.
Before surgery, I weighed 250lbs, and my pant size was a 22. I now weigh 160lbs with a pant size of 8-10. I decided to have surgery because I wanted to be the confident girl who was trapped inside a 250-pound body to be able to shine. I wanted to be active and live a long and healthy life. I also wanted to start this lifestyle now so that when I have children one day, I can be a good example to them on how to be active. Most importantly, I wanted to be comfortable in my own skin. I wanted to feel beautiful. I was always “bigger.” I was a cheerleader from toddlerhood until high school and a swimmer for 12 years. I always stayed very active. Once I graduated high school, I moved out of state to attend cosmetology school and my active lifestyle completely stopped. I ate unhealthy and became very lazy. I wasn’t proud of the person I was becoming and struggled to change my bad habits. My brother had his surgery while I was in Idaho, and when I saw how great he was doing, I was inspired. I decided to fly home and meet these people and then it was my turn.
My Life has changed dramatically since I first met Dr. Keshishian. Working out and eating healthy have become habit. I ran in my first 5k, 10k, and half marathon. I continue to run every day in hopes of running in a full marathon. I LOVE to run, and have made it a way to relieve stress. Running has become good therapy for me. I love cooking and experimenting with foods I didn’t even know existed before I had surgery. It’s been 2 years, and I still haven’t bought or had a soda. I eventually gained what I call my “gym family.” I am there so often, that eventually, most of my friends were from the gym and people who have similar goals.
This surgery affects everyone differently. For me, it was a game I had to play with my mind. Being big, I loved the satisfaction of feeling full after a meal. I would order food and try to decide if it was enough to make me full. After surgery, I would forget that I couldn’t eat that much. I would still want to order the item with the most food. It was almost like the “Old Kylie” was still sitting in the back of my mind telling me what I would have ordered before my surgery. I had to learn to be tough, and ignore her. That was (and sometimes still is) one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I would look in the mirror and still see a 250 pound girl. I had to have a mental talk with myself, and look at old photos. It was a temporary issue I had with myself. I’ve learned so much about who I am since the surgery, and am so happy with the woman I have become. Having this surgery has made me feel like I can conquer anything I put my mind to. I had no idea how mentally strong I was until I made the choice to have this procedure. This will always be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself, and I’ll always be supportive of others who are thinking of choosing the weight-loss surgery. I owe Dr. Keshishian so much for giving me my life back. Thank you!
Duodenal Switch is a Safe Operation for Patients who have Failed other Bariatric Operations
Ara Keshishian, MD, FACS; Karin Zahriya, MD, FACS; Teny Hartoonian, MD; Chris Ayagian, MD
Department of Surgery, Delano Regional Medical Center, Delano, CA, USA
Background: The incidence of morbid obesity and its surgical treatment have been increasing over the last few years. With this increase, there has been a rise in the number of patients who have had less than desirable outcome after bariatric operations. We perform the duodenal switch (DS) in patients for whom other weight loss surgical procedures have failed, because of inadequate weight loss, weight regain or significant complications, such as solid intolerance or dumping syndrome.
Method: From November 1999 to March 2004, 46 revisional surgeries were performed at our institution. The data was prospectively collected and reviewed, based on a number of parameters. Operative details, perioperative morbidity, and results are reported.
Results: 46 patients had their original bariatric surgical operation revised to DS. This resulted in complete resolution of their presenting complaints. The %EWL was 69% at the time of publication, with a mean lapsed time of 30 months.We had no mortality. Anastomotic leak occurred in 4 patients, 2 in our first
8 patients. We also noted that the majority of the patients were not aware of all the surgical procedures available to them at the time of their original operation.
Conclusion: In patients in whom gastroplasty, gastric bypass or both have failed to provide adequate weight loss, or worse have resulted in complications, DS can be performed as a safe revisional operation. The revision of other failed bariatric operations to DS results in both weight loss and resolution of the complications.
Since its inception in the 1960s, weight loss surgery has been the only option for morbidly obese patients who have been unable to lose and maintain adequate weight loss through conventional non-surgical methods. In 1991, the NIH released a consensus on gastrointestinal surgery for severe obesity,which sparked further interest in the surgical treatment of morbid obesity, leading to an increase in the number of bariatric operations. This increase and the occasional failure and complications after these surgical procedures have resulted in an increased need for revisional surgery.
Bariatric procedures can be classified into three groups: those that restrict food intake, those that limit absorption, and those that utilize some degree of both components. Restrictive operations create a tiny neogastric pouch and a restrictive gastric outlet to decrease food intake.
Vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG) partitions the stomach along the lesser curvature, creating a channel restricted by an externally placed band. The upper pouch is approximately 5 cm long with a diameter of 1.5 cm and accommodates a volume of 20-40 ml. Gastric banding is another restrictive procedure, extensively performed in Europe and Australia, and recently in the United States. The published data varies significantly, with some reports showing <50% loss of excess body weight 9 years following the procedure.
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP) is primarily restrictive, but also limits absorption of calories and nutrients to a varying degree. This procedure involves division of the stomach to create a tiny proximal pouch with approximate volume 15 ml. This pouch is then anastomosed to a Roux-en-Y jejunal limb, bypassing the stomach, pylorus and duodenum, adding a limited malabsorptive component. Although the original descriptions of RYGBP defined the Roux-limb to be <100 cm, in almost all of the RYGBP revisions, we have measured the Roux-limbs to be >100 cm.
The biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (DS) is a hybrid operation involving both components of weight loss surgery. In the DS, a lateral gastrectomy provides a restricted gastric volume of approximately 100 cc, while excess fat absorption is limited by shortening the functioning length of the intestine. This involves diversion of the biliopancreatic secretions by partitioning the bowel into two limbs – an alimentary channel, and the biliopancreatic (afferent) limb. These two limbs of small bowel are reconnected to form the common channel. DS appears to be the most effective bariatric operation to date. It produces the most sustained weight loss, without the unwanted side effects present with other bariatric operations (i.e. dumping syndrome, marginal ulceration, and solid food intolerance). This is accomplished without any increase in the perioperative morbidity and mortality rate.
Restrictive operations have had varying results in long-term weight loss and complications. Van Gemert et al. reported a 12% incidence of revision after RYGBP and a 56% incidence of revision after VBG. The need for revision after gastric banding has also been reported.
Revision of failed bariatric procedures has resulted in morbidity rates of 12-41%. The perioperative revision complication rate has been three times higher when compared to a primary procedure. Gagner reported a morbidity rate of 22%.
Behrns et al. studied the choice of procedure for revisional surgery. They reported that when the primary operation had been a VBG, the most effective second operation was the RYGBP. The question arises as to what revisional surgery should be performed for failed RYGBP. The majority have been revised to a distal RYGBP.  However, Fobi et al. showed that this was accompanied by only moderate weight loss and a protein malnutrition rate of 23%. Owens and Schwartz advised against revision of an operation performed satisfactorily, to one of the same type, because it is unlikely to produce a significant benefit.
Between November 1999 and March 2004, we performed 614 primary DS operations with excellent weight loss and minimal (<2%) hypoalbuminemia. During the same period, we elected to perform the DS as our revision operation of choice on 47 referred patients, and the data on the latter are hereby presented.
From November 1999 to March 2004, 47 patients were referred to us for revision to a DS, a period when 614 primary DS operations were performed. The primary operation for the patients seeking revision had been VBG (16), RYGBP (26), and both (5). The five patients with both procedures had an initial VBG, later revised to a RYGBP and were now presenting for their second revision. All of our patients who underwent revisional surgery had either regained all (31) or some (>50% – 7) of their original weight loss, or had failed to lose sufficient weight (9). The other presenting complaints were: severe dumping syndrome (20); intolerance to solid foods (16); persistent nausea and vomiting (4); and severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (14) (Table 1).
In this series, all 19 patients who had severe dumping syndrome had also regained a significant amount of weight. This appears to contradict the notion that dumping syndrome is a beneficial sideeffect of RYGBP as a behavior modification tool.
All patients were assessed by the surgeon, and had psychological, nutritional and medical evaluations. Extensive preoperative education was carried out to
[table id=1 /]
ensure adequate informed consent, and to bolster postoperative compliance. The work-up before revisional surgery included: complete metabolic panel; mineral, vitamin and lipid profile; liver function tests; upper GI series, and upper endoscopy.
The revision of any previous bariatric operation to DS involves a thorough study of the patient’s existing anatomy. The work-up includes review of prior medical records whenever available, as well as a detailed examination of the patient, followed by an upper GI series and an endoscopy performed at our institution by the operating surgeon. The peritoneal cavity is entered through a midline laparotomy incision.
Revision from VBG to DS entails exposure of the greater curvature of the stomach by ligation of the short gastric vessels. The stomach is then accessed through a gastrotomy at the greater curvature. A linear stapler is then used to divide the band through the gastrotomy and the distal end of the vertical partitioned stomach. Lateral vertical subtotal gastrectomy is accomplished over a 39-Fr bougie. The gastrectomy resection line includes the previous VBG staple-line, to prevent ruminant gastric tissue with compromised blood supply.
Revision of the RYGBP to DS involves a significantly greater degree of planning. The earlier open Roux-en-Y procedures were more likely to have left behind a larger stomach pouch with an intact left gastric artery than those performed laparoscopically. The reason for this is that most of the pouches were based on the greater curvature (horizontal), and little dissection was performed involving the lesser curvature. With the laparoscopic RYGBP procedures, the gastrojejunostomy anastomosis has been performed on the lesser curvature, and the left gastric artery has been frequently transected. Without the short gastric arteries, the pouch relies on the esophageal branches for its blood supply. The Lap-RYGBP patients have smaller pouch sizes and are exposed not only to an increased risk of leaks, but also have the potential for occurrence of stricture as a result of the tenuous blood supply. This may explain the high incidence of gastro-jejunostomy strictures needing balloon dilatation after lap- RYGBP.
Revision of RYGBP to DS involves taking down the gastro-jejunostomy anastomosis without compromising the blood supply of the proximal gastric pouch. The greater curvature of the bypassed stomach is then mobilized by ligation of the short gastric vessels to the level of the splenic hilum. The gastric continuity is then reconstructed by linear or circular staple firing between proximal stomach pouch and the gastric fundus of the mobilized bypassed stomach through a gastrotomy opening on the greater curvature. The staple-line is then over-sewn by a 3- 0 Vicryl® in a running fashion. A lateral vertical subtotal gastrectomy is then performed over a 39-Fr bougie. This gastrectomy now includes both the previous gastric pouch and the bypassed stomach in continuity.
Small bowel continuity is restored by first taking down the Roux-limb, and reconnecting it in a sideto- side fashion at the previously placed biliopancreatic limb. The total length of the small bowel is measured on the anti-mesenteric side. The common channel and alimentary limbs are then based on the percentage of the total length of the bowel (8%-12% for common, and 35%-45% for the alimentary). All of the small bowel entero-enteric anastomoses, with the exception of the duodeno-ileostomy anastomosis, are done in a side-to-side fashion as previously described.
The duodenal switch is then performed by first dividing the duodenum 5 cm distal to the pylorus. The alimentary tract is then pulled through a retrocolic plane to the right of the middle colic artery, and an end-to-side anastomosis is created between the end of the transected proximal duodenum and the anti-mesenteric side of the small bowel, with a linear stapler, reinforced with a 3-0 Vicryl® in a running fashion.
All patients also undergo liver biopsy, appendectomy and cholecystectomy at the time of the revision operation. A feeding jejunostomy tube is routinely inserted in the biliopancreatic limb distal to the ligament of Treitz, in all revisional operations.
The mean age of the patients was 47.3 (33-64), 3.3 years older than the average age for primary DS. Average pre-revision body mass index (BMI) was 47.3 kg/m2 (range 24.5-73.7), and average pre-revision weight was 128.3 kg (range 76.0 to 214.3). This is comparable to averages of 50.6 kg/m2 and 143.4 kg respectively, for primary DS. The average time elapsed between the primary operation and revision was 11.8 years (range 2.7 to 23). The female to male ratio was 9:1 compared with 6:1 in our primary DS patients.
A questionnaire administered to all revision patients at the time of the initial presentation, revealed that 96.2% of patients had been unaware of other surgical weight-loss options at the time of their primary operation, even though at the time the other bariatric operations were available.
The findings on preoperative radiological and endoscopic evaluation are shown in Tables 2 and 3. [table id=2 /] [table id=3 /].
The average operative time for revisional patients was 3.5 hours (2.3-5.7), and the average length of stay was 4.8 days. For primary DS, this has been 1.7 hours and 3.2 days, respectively.
Peri-operative complications included leaks in four patients (8.5%), one wound infection (2.1%), and one hernia (2.1%). All four of our patients who had leaks had undergone a previous RYGBP. Two of the four patients had undergone both a VBG and a RYGBP, and DS was their second revision. Two leaks occurred in the first 8 patients, and the remaining 2 in the following 38 patients. Two of the leaks were at the site of gastro-gastrostomy anastomosis, and the other two were located at the site of the lateral gastrectomy, just proximal to the gastro-gastrostomy anastomosis. Two of the four patients with leaks required further surgical interventions to completely resolve their complications. The other two were treated with enteral feeding and NPO, with drainage by means of the closed suction drains placed at the time of the operation. There has been no protein malnutrition and no deaths. The leak-rate for our primary DS patients has been 0.9%
Following a mean elapsed time of 30 months since revision to DS, the average BMI has dropped from 48.9 to 29.2 kg/m2 and the %EWL has been 67%. Mean weight has fallen from 128 kg to 80 kg (P<0.0001). The presenting complications of the original surgery have resolved in 100% of patients who underwent revision to DS. The BMI has remained stable after revision of failed VBG and RYGBP at 2.4 years after the DS. The data is summarized in Table 4.[table id=5 /]
As more patients undergo bariatric surgery for treatment of morbid obesity, an increase in the number of patients with the need for revision are encountered. In our experience, the most common indication for re-operative surgery was inadequate weight loss (15 out of 35 patients, 43%). This has been confirmed by others. The reason could be due to a technical failure (eg. anastomotic dilatation, staple-line disruption). In the majority of the patients, however, we found no clear technical explanation for the failure of the operation. In restrictive operations such as VBG, patients recognize the smaller capacity of their postoperative stomach, and frequently modify their diet to comprise mainly high-calorie liquids or foods such as ice-cream and milkshakes. Intolerance to solid foods related to stricture or stenosis also makes patients resort to this type of diet. Gawdat found that 61% of revised patients had had no abnormality found at the time of the revisional operation.
The average BMI of our patients at the time of their primary operation had been 51.8 kg/m2. Problematic weight loss in the super-obese has led to the proposition that some degree of malabsorption should be incorporated into bariatric operations in these patients. We agree with this, and we recommend that the DS be the primary operation of choice for patients with super-obesity.
Revision from a primary restrictive operation to DS involves complete conversion of the previous operation to essentially normal anatomy before the DS operation is completed. This necessitates working on a gastric pouch or remnant with tenuous blood supply. Paying heed to this danger during the operation has allowed us to limit our complication rates to those of previously published data. It is evident from our experience that the rate of complications such as leaks is increased in revisional operations. Complication rates are higher after RYGBP revision, and 100% of our leaks occurred in patients with prior RYGBP.
Gastric bypass has been shown to have better weight loss than VBG, justifying previous revision of failed VBG. However, DS has been shown to have better overall and long-term weight loss than the RYGBP. Therefore, our revision patients should have better results than if they had been revised to another to RYGBP.
With regards to patients with failed RYGBP, the options promoted by others have been to revise to another RYGBP, or to add a malabsorptive component by lengthening the Roux-limb (i.e. distal gastric bypass). Neither option has been very successful. As reported by Fobi and by Sugerman, problems with protein malnutrition occasionally follow distal RYGBP. Others have opted to manage these patients with strict diets and anorectic drugs. These modalities failed before weight-loss surgery in these patients, and are unlikely to be beneficial at this stage. Our decision to convert failed RYGBP patients to DS has led to good weight loss results. Additionally, we have encountered no issues of protein malnutrition, partly because a larger stomach is left with DS compared to RYGBP. The average size of the stomach remaining after primary DS or after DS for previously failed bariatric surgery is approximately 100 cc.
Conversion to DS resulted in weight loss in all patients, with an average weight loss per month of 5.4 kg (range 0.3-16.1). However, the increased risk of complications following the re-operation implores serious consideration of the primary reason for the revision. We believe that if the presenting complaint is exclusively that of weight gain or inappropriate weight loss, the increased risk does not warrant revision in patients whose preoperative BMI is lower than the guidelines set by the National Institutes of Health.1 However, in patients presenting with primary surgical complications, such as dumping syndrome, intolerance to solids or persistent nausea and vomiting, where the patient’s quality of life has deteriorated, DS is a highly successful procedure. Our data indicates that 100% of initial complaints were resolved following revision.
The other major consideration in revisional bariatric surgery is patient education. In this study, 96.2 % of the patients claimed that they were unaware of other weight-loss surgical options at the time of their primary operation. One could possibly question the validity of the informed consent at the time of the original operation. Our program incorporates an extensive preoperative education plan geared towards explaining the DS procedure in detail, clarifying the general risks of surgery, the resulting change in anatomy and the long-term follow- up requirements, including supplementation requisites to maintain vitamin, mineral and nutritional levels within normal limits. Patients undergoing DS as their primary operation are in addition required to attend group meetings for all other surgical procedures, in order to assure adequate informed consent. The surgeon has the duty to provide the patient with the information necessary for the patient to make an educated decision as to whether to consent to the recommended operation. For a patient to properly make that decision, all major surgical options, their advantages and disadvantages must be discussed. Patients who are fully aware of all their weight loss surgery options, will better select their primary operation, and will likely decrease their need for future revisional surgery. In our practice, we recommend that our patients not only attend group meetings but also seek a second opinion regarding other bariatric surgical procedures.
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