Long-Term Follow-up and Risk of Recurrence of Internal Herniation after Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

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Purpose: Internal herniation (IH) is the most common complication after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB). Although primary closure has reduced the incidence, recurrences are a continued problem. This study aimed to investigate long-term follow-up and recurrence risk of IH surgery. Methods: A retrospective cohort study of laparoscopic RYGB operated patients operated for a first IH between April 2012 and April 2015 at Skåne University Hospital in Malmö, Sweden. Status of primary closure of mesenteric gaps, time since RYGB, and findings at IH surgery were retrieved from medical records. Follow-up until December 31st, 2019, included recurrences of IH, number of computed tomography (CT) scans, emergency visits, readmissions, and other acute surgeries. Results: IH (n = 44) occurred almost equally in Petersen’s space (n = 24) and beneath the jejunojejunostomy (n = 20). Long-term follow-up (median 75 months) of 43 patients registered an IH recurrence rate of 14% (n = 6). All recurrences occurred in the other mesenteric gap. One patient suffered a third IH, and one patient had four IH events. During follow-up, 56% (n = 24) had ER visits for abdominal pain, 47% (n = 20) had ≥ 1 abdominal CT scan, and 40% (n = 17) were readmitted. A third of readmitted (6/17) patients suffered a recurrence of internal herniation. Two other patients were readmitted ≥ 10 times for chronic abdominal pain. Conclusion: Surgery for IH had a low risk of recurrence at the treated mesenteric gap, but a 14% recurrence risk at the other mesenteric gap, emphasizing the importance of carefully investigating weaknesses or gaps at the other mesenteric defect during surgery for IH. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2311-2316
Number of pages6
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Aug

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Surgery

Free keywords

  • Abdominal surgery
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Gastric bypass
  • Hernia
  • Internal hernia
  • Treatment outcome


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