Patients can be symptomatic after laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass because of either surgical complications or physiologic changes and adjustment to the new anatomy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the factors that could influence the rate of postoperative emergency room admissions (ERAs) and the clinical implication of these visits for patients who have undergone laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
The medical records of patients who underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for morbid obesity from 2001 to 2004 were retrospectively reviewed. The data of patients with a history of an ERA after surgery was compared with the data of patients without a history of ERAs. The data collected included demographics, weight, body mass index, operative time, and more. The ERAs were subdivided into early ERAs and late ERAs, and the data were analyzed further.
Of 733 patients, 228 (31.1%) had a history of ERAs. Patients with early postoperative complication (<7 days after the procedure) had a greater rate of ERAs (60.9% versus 30.1%, P <.05). The operative time was significantly longer in the ERA group (91.4 versus 86.5 min). The most frequent complaint in the emergency room was abdominal pain (61.4%) followed by vomiting (35.5%). Gastric outlet obstruction was the most frequent cause of an ERA within 2 weeks after surgery. Most patients were treated conservatively.
Our results suggest that the rate of potential ERAs should not be disregarded. A prolonged operative time and early postoperative complications were significant predictors for late ERAs. Abdominal pain with or without vomiting was the most common presenting symptom. Most patients can be treated conservatively.