In the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass technique, classic laparoscopic surgical retractors are usually rigid, require an additional incision for its installation, or must be handled by an assistant during the surgical procedure, involving a risk of liver injury.
The aim of this study was to evaluate and validate a technique of the esophagogastric junction exposure obtained by the flexible liver retractor in bariatric surgery, comparing its efficacy with the retractor classically used for this purpose.
This study was performed as a randomized, open, prospective, controlled, and comparative design in patients with medical indications of bariatric surgery. The subjects were distributed in the classic (control) and flexible (test) retractor groups.
A total of 100 patients (n=50 control group, n=50 test group) were included. No statistically significant difference was observed in the mean duration of surgery. Regarding visibility, 100% of the patients in the flexible retractor group demonstrated an optimal visibility level, although without statistical significance concerning the classic retractor group (94%). Invariably, carrying a trocar was necessary when using the classic retractor.
The flexible liver retractor is safe, effective, ergonomic, and inexpensive. Furthermore, it presented a satisfactory aesthetic profile, and the use of specific instruments, new adaptation curve, and training for its handling were not required.
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