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What size is my Bougie?

Posted On : July 10, 2014
Examples of Bougie
Examples of Bougie

A Bougie is a flexible plastic tube that comes in different sizes. It can be used to calibrate the size of the stomach during the duodenal switch or Sleeve gastrectomy. It is also used to dilate strictures of the esophagus or the stomach.

I am commonly asked what size is the  bougie that I use. My usual answer is that it is equivalent to a 38 or so, and that the size does not matter.

Many surgeons do not use these types dilators, but rather alternative tubes that function as a sizer and a suction tube to eliminates the need for multiple tube insertions and removals.

The July 2014 publication of Obesity Surgery had and article by Spivak et.al. titled “Laparsocopic Sleeve Gastrectomy Using 42-French Versus 32-French Bougie: The First-Year Outcome.” In conclusion they reported that using 42 vs 32 French Bougie does not influence the weight loss of resolution of the combed condition in the first year.

There also other studies that support the position of erring on the side a larger sizer, a 40-French, to decrease the leak rate without having an impact on the excess weight loss at 3 years time.

The take home massage is that the size of the stomach after the sleeve does not predict the outcome of the weight loss surgery independently. There are multiple factors in play such as age, amount of excess weight, diet adherence and exercise.

2 responses to “What size is my Bougie?”

  1. Hello – The size of the stomach ( in the duodenal switch, or the sleeve) is usually measured in reference to a bougie. There are times that bougie is not used and another tube with a comparable size is utilized. I am not sure about the 2 ounce with the stomach in the sleeve or the Duodenal switch.
    Also important to remember not to place to much valve on that number- the size of the stomach is how much you tolerate.
    Thank you

  2. I asked my doctors office about what size mine was and the nurse said she had never heard of such a question! She did tell me that my doctor makes most of her stomachs about 2 ounces. Is that normal?

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