Endoscopic Closure of Gastro-gastric Fistula After Gastric Bypass: a Technically Feasible Procedure but Associated with Low Success Rate
Gastro-gastric fistulas (GGF) are reported to be as high as 12% after gastric bypass for treatment of morbid obesity. While different endoscopic methods are described, the management traditionally consists of surgical revision with high associated morbidity. The aim of the study was to assess feasibility, safety and success rate of endoscopic closure using an endoscopic suturing device.
From January 2016 to March 2018, we reviewed the electronic records of all patients undergoing endoscopic closure of a GGF with the Apollo Overstitch system (Apollo Endosurgery, Austin, Texas, USA). Demographic details, procedure details, and outcome variables were recorded.
A total of six patients (M:F = 5:1) underwent endoscopic fistula closure. Five patients (83.3%) had a prior banded gastric bypass (with subsequent band removal). The median number of prior abdominal surgeries was 3, the mean time from bypass to endoscopic fistula closure was 5 years (range 1.1–10.4). While immediate complete endoscopic fistula closure was possible in 10 of 12 attempts in those six patients (83%), all patients had recurrent (persistent) fistulas at follow-up. After a mean follow-up time of 12 months, 83.3% had further laparoscopic converted to open (n = 2) or laparoscopic (n = 3) revisions with complete fistula closure. One patient is refusing further intervention.
Endoscopic gastro-gastric fistula closure with an endoscopic suturing device is feasible and safe. Unfortunately, due to the nature of gastro-gastric fistulas, permanent successful closure is rare. Therefore, the approach should be reserved for patients in whom a laparoscopic or open surgical attempt is impossible due to prior abdominal revisions.
KeywordsGastro-gastric fistula Endosurgery Endoscopic suturing Bypass
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The study was approved by the local ethics review board.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.