Obesity Surgery

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 166–172 | Cite as

Reinforcement Does Not Necessarily Reduce the Rate of Staple Line Leaks After Sleeve Gastrectomy. A Review of the Literature and Clinical Experiences

  • Bo Chen
  • Andreas Kiriakopoulos
  • Dimitrios Tsakayannis
  • Mitchell S. Wachtel
  • Dimitrios Linos
  • Eldo E. FrezzaEmail author
Research Article



Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (SG) is an accepted bariatric procedure, with an advantaged by a low complication rate. A feared complication is stapler line leak. Buttressing materials have been suggested as a means of reducing staple line leak rates. We analyzed the leak rates from published series to help in demonstrating a potential cause.


The study was institutional review board (IRB) approved retrospectively. A Medline search using the key words sleeve gastrectomy and bariatric surgery obtained 54 articles. Attention was restricted to 11 articles written in English that listed numbers of gastrectomy procedures and leaks. Poisson regression assessed the possibility that patients who received buttressing materials had a reduced rate of leaks.


Thirty-five patients were evaluated from Greece (15) and the United States (20); two patients developed staple line leaks that appeared to be related to problems associated with buttressing materials. Eleven prior studies and the present series yielded 1,589 procedures, 15 (0.94%) of which were complicated by leaks. The leak rate for patients who were known to have received reinforcement of some sort was 1.45 (95% confidence interval 0.41–3.43) times that for other patients. To detect a difference between 1% and 0.5% as statistically significant in 80% of cases, with a two tailed test and alpha set at 0.05, would require 9,346 procedures.


There is no reason to believe, at this point, that reduction in leak rates occur because reinforcement is used. Because the leak rate is small, the routine reinforcement of the staple line after sleeve gastrectomy is questionable at best, although a decrease in hemorrhage has been reported.


Polytetrafluoroethylene Bovine pericardium Porcine small bowel Polyglycolic acid Trimethylene carbonate Calcium alginate sleeves Sleeve gastrectomy Complications Leaks Morbid obesity Staple line Review of literature 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bo Chen
    • 1
  • Andreas Kiriakopoulos
    • 2
  • Dimitrios Tsakayannis
    • 2
  • Mitchell S. Wachtel
    • 3
  • Dimitrios Linos
    • 2
  • Eldo E. Frezza
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of General SurgeryQilu Hospital of Shandong UniversityJinanChina
  2. 2.First Surgical Clinic, Department of Surgery‘‘Hygeia’’ HospitalAthensGreece
  3. 3.Department of PathologyTexas Tech University Health Sciences CenterLubbockUSA
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Alabama, VAMC Surgical Service 112BirminghamUSA

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