Diagnostic laparoscopy for chronic abdominal pain after gastric bypass

Tracy Pitt, Stacy Brethauer, Vadim Sherman, Suthep Udomsawaengsup, Matt Metz, Silas Chikunguwo, Bipan Chand, Philip Schauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: To evaluate, in an observational study, the utility of diagnostic laparoscopy as a tool to evaluate patients with abdominal pain of unknown etiology after gastric bypass surgery. Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed of data from patients who had undergone laparoscopy for diagnosis or treatment of abdominal pain. This study included 13 patients with negative preoperative radiographic and/or endoscopic findings. Results: A total of 13 patients who had undergone Roux-en-Y gastric bypass underwent diagnostic laparoscopy for abdominal pain. The findings included internal hernia (4), adhesions (3), ventral hernia (2), partial small bowel obstruction (1), and chronic cholecystitis (1). There were 2 negative laparoscopies, while a diagnosis was made in 85%. After an average follow-up of 3.2 months, 7 of 11 patients had unresolved abdominal pain and 4 patients experienced pain resolution (2 patients were lost to follow-up). Conclusion: The results from this small retrospective study suggest that significant pathologic findings can be identified in most patients who have negative preoperative evaluation findings; however, the efficacy of diagnostic laparoscopy to eliminate pain in this patient population requires additional study. Despite the potential complications, we believe that diagnostic laparoscopy has a role in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic abdominal pain after gastric bypass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-398
Number of pages5
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Abdominal pain
  • Bariatric
  • Diagnostic laparoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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