In 1994 Cucchi et al.7 first published a paper identifying gastrogastric fistulas (GGF) as a complication of open divided Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). The findings showed that GGF develop regardless of the remnant division from the pouch. Some authors attribute GGF to technical failure, early postoperative leaks or even marginal ulcers. Furthermore, diagnosis is usually difficult and requires a high index of suspicion, mainly due to a lack of pathognomonic symptoms and signs14. As of today, there is no consensus regarding an optimal diagnostic pathway for GGF, and management is usually patient tailored13,14.
Woman of 42 year-old with a BMI of 44 kg/m2 underwent a previous anti-gastric anti-colic RYGB using a circular staple for the gastro-jejunostomy anastomosis (GJA) in Jaber Hospital, Kuwait. Intra-operatively the anvil had an incomplete anastomotic stapler doughnut; however, both the intra-operative methylene blue and air tests were negative. The anastomotic line was the buttressed with 2-0 absorbable sutures. Two days post-operatively the patient developed acute abdominal pain, tachycardia and fever, with a water-soluble contrast study suggesting a GJA leak. A subsequent diagnostic laparoscopy however, was unremarkable, and she was managed conservatively. Seven years later, she again presented complaining of a two month history of progressive epigastric and retrosternal chest pain. Blood investigations showed mild leucocytosis and hyper-amylasemia. Gastroscopy demonstrated bile entry to the gastric pouch, with a corresponding 6-7 mm GGF. A barium swallow confirmed GGF, with no other fistulas nor strictures. She was managed endoscopically with one endo-clip applied to GGF, and its edges were burned using argon plasma coagulation.
After three years she was attended again with abdominal pain and distention, associated with weight regain and vomiting. A barium swallow confirmed recurrence of the fistula (Figure 1), and gastroscopy showed a large fistulous opening measuring 15-20 mm, not feasible for endoscopic intervention.
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