Endoscopic closure techniques of bariatric surgery complications: a meta-analysis

William N. Doyle, Alexander Netzley, Rahul Mhaskar, Abdul Rahman F. Diab, Samer Ganam, Joseph Sujka, Christopher DuCoin, Salvatore Docimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Leaks following bariatric surgery, while rare, are potentially fatal due to risk of peritonitis and sepsis. Anastomotic leaks and gastro-gastric fistulae following Roux-En-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) as well as staple line leaks after sleeve gastrectomy have historically been treated multimodally with surgical drainage, aggressive antibiotic therapy, and more recently, endoscopically. Endoscopic clipping using over-the-scope clips and endoscopic suturing are two of the most common approaches used to achieve full thickness closure. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed in PubMed to identify articles on the use of endoscopic clipping or suturing for the treatment of leaks and fistulae following bariatric surgery. Studies focusing on stents, and those that incorporated multiple closure techniques simultaneously, were excluded. Literature review and meta-analysis were performed with the PRISMA guidelines. Results: Five studies with 61 patients that underwent over-the-scope clip (OTSC) closure were included. The pooled proportion of successful closure across the studies was 81.1% (95% CI 67.3 to 91.7). The successful closure rates were homogeneous (I2 = 39%, p = 0.15). Three studies with 92 patients that underwent endoscopic suturing were included. The weighted pooled proportion of successful closure across the studies was shown to be 22.4% (95% CI 14.6 to 31.3). The successful closure rates were homogeneous (I2 = 0%, p = 0.44). Three of the studies, totaling 34 patients, examining OTSC deployment reported data for reintervention rate. The weighted pooled proportion of reintervention across the studies was 35.0% (95% CI 11.7 to 64.7). We noticed statistically significant heterogeneity (I2 = 68%, p = 0.04). One study, with 20 patients examining endoscopic suturing, reported rate of repeat intervention 60%. Conclusion: Observational reports show that patients managed with OTSC were more likely to experience healing of their defect than those managed with endoscopic suturing. Larger controlled studies comparing different closure devices for bariatric leaks should be carried out to better understand the ideal endoscopic approach to these complications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Early online date17 Apr 2024
StatePublished - May 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2024.


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Endoscopic full thickness closure
  • Endoscopic suturing
  • Over-the-scope clips
  • Staple-line leaks


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