American College of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting
American College of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting
Perspective from Shelby Sullivan, MD
October 16, 2017
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Endoscopy should be first fix for bariatric surgery complications

Perspective from Shelby Sullivan, MD
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Reem Z. Sharaiha, MD
Reem Z. Sharaiha

ORLANDO — While endoscopic bariatric procedures for obesity treatment increase, one expert here addressed the need for endoscopy as first-line treatment for existing bariatric surgery complications.

“There are a variety of adverse events associated with [bariatric] surgery and endoscopy is often the first-line treatment, but it often requires multiple modalities and multiple procedures,” Reem Z. Sharaiha, MD, MSc, of Weill Cornell Medical College, said during a presentation in the Postgraduate Course held before the World Congress of Gastroenterology at ACG 2017. “Most complications are amenable to endoscopic therapy so we must know the post-surgical anatomy and the team approach is key.”

Sharaiha said complications leading to endoscopy can occur in up to 30% of patients who undergo bariatric surgery. Endoscopy should be the first option for treating these complications because surgical revision increases morbidity and mortality, she explained.

Anastomotic ulcerations, hemorrhage, anastomotic strictures, band erosion, leaks and weight regain are the most common complications seen after bariatric surgery, Sharaiha said.

Sharaiha reviewed presentation of these complications and the endoscopic techniques for treatment, which were recently included in a review published in Gastroenterology.

Leaks, she said, are most common.

“That’s really what we see and they are notoriously hard to treat,” Sharaiha said. She warned that leaks can lead to high levels of morbidity and mortality and endoscopists must keep in mind all possible sources of the leaks. Additionally, the time to closure for any leak is important, she said.

“For primary suturing, your success is significantly higher for fistulas and leaks, if it’s done within the first 30 days,” Sharaiha said.

Lastly, she addressed weight regain after gastric bypass. Sharaiha said this usually occurs 2 to 3 years post-operatively but surgical revision has a morbidity rate of 5% to 10%.

Using endoscopic sleeve plication for revision of sleeve gastrectomy, on the other hand, resulted in total body weight loss of 10%, Sharaiha said.

“Endoscopy should be the first line of treatment for complications,” she concluded. – by Katrina Altersitz

Reference: Sharaiha R. Postgraduate Course. Presented at: World Congress of Gastroenterology at American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting; Oct. 13-18, 2017; Orlando, FL.

Disclosures: Sharaiha reports receiving grant/research support from Apollo and acting as a consultant for Apollo and Boston Scientific.