Marginal ulceration (MU) is a well-known complication after gastrojejunostomy; however, its incidence has rarely been reported in bariatric studies. We present 16 cases of documented MU after laparoscopic gastric bypass (LGBP) that were successfully treated with proton pump inhibition (PPI).
All patients undergoing LGBP from October 2002 to August 2005 were entered into a prospective, longitudinal database. All patients who subsequently presented with MU were analyzed. MU was diagnosed when patients presented postoperatively with mid-epigastric pain and/or upper gastrointestinal bleeding that responded to PPI or endoscopic intervention. Analysis of variance and Student's t test were used for the statistical analyses.
MU was diagnosed in 16 (4%) of 347 patients in whom LGBP was performed. An additional 10 patients had symptoms suggestive of MU, which raised the incidence as great as 7%. Of the 26 patients, 18 were women and 8 were men (age range 23-53 years), with a preoperative body mass index 37.1-63.9 kg/m2, similar to that of the patients who did not develop MU. Compared with the patients who did not develop MU, the operative times were longer in the MU group (180.5 versus 140.4 minutes, P <0.001). Of the 26 patients, 10 presented with abdominal pain and 16 with upper gastrointestinal bleeding. The mean interval between the initial LGBP and subsequent MU was 6.3 months (range 1-13). After an initial history and physical examination, upper endoscopy confirmed the diagnosis of MU in 16 patients. Three patients who developed MU were receiving chronic anticoagulation medication. All patients who developed MU began high-dose PPI, which resulted in 100% resolution of MU within 8 weeks. Since January 2005, 73 patients were given prophylactic PPI therapy postoperatively, with no patients subsequently developing MU (P = 0.006).
We report 16 documented cases of MU occurring after LGBP. This underreported complication can be successfully treated with PPI, although MU complicated by gastrogastric fistula may require operative intervention. The institution of routine PPI therapy after LGBP lowered the short-term incidence of MU at our institution. Additionally, we recommend that all patients who undergo LGBP be given prophylactic PPI therapy postoperatively.