ROUTINE USE OF V-LOCK® SUTURE FOR BARIATRIC ANASTOMOSIS IS SAFE: COMPARATIVE RESULTS FROM CONSECUTIVE CASE SERIES

ABSTRACT Background: In high-income countries, morbid obesity is a growing health problem that has already reached epidemic proportions. When performing a laparoscopic gastric bypass several operative methods exist. Aim: To describe the institutional experience using a knotless unidirectional barbed suture (V-Loc 180/Covidien, Mansfield, MA) to create a hand-sewn gastrojejunostomy (GJ) and jejunojejunostomy (JJ) during bariatric surgery. Methods: Evaluation of a case series of 87 morbidly obese patients who underwent laparoscopic gastric bypass with a hand-sewn gastrojejunostomy (GJA) and jejunojejunostomy (JJA) between 01/2015 and 06/2017. The patients were divided into two groups: in group I, GJA und JJA sutures were performed using the knotless unidirectional barbed suture; in group II, GJA and JJA were sutured with resorbable multifilament thread (Vicryl® 3/0 Ethicon, Livingstone, UK). The recorded data on gender, age, BMI, ASA score, operative time, postoperative morbidity, length of hospital stay, and reoperation, were analyzed and compared. Results: All procedures were completed laparoscopically with no mortality. The mean operative time was 123.23 (±30.631) in group I and 127.57 (±42.772) in group II (p<0.05). The postoperative complications did not differ significantly between the two groups. Early complications were observed for two patients (0.9%) in the barbed suture group and for one patient (0.42%) in the multifilament suture group (p<0.05). In group I two patients (0.9%) required reoperation: on the basis of jejunojejunal stenosis in one patient, and local abscess near the gastrojejunostomy, without a leakage, in the other. In group II one patient (0.42%) required reoperation due to stenosis of the GJA. The duration of hospital admission was similar for both groups: 3.36 (±0.743) days in group I vs. 3.38 (±1.058) days in group II (p<0.05). Conclusion: The novel anastomotic technique is a safe and effective method and can be applied to gastrojejunal anastomosis and jejunojejunal anastomosis in laparoscopic gastric bypass.