Endoscopic stent management of leaks and anastomotic strictures after foregut surgery

Panot Yimcharoen, Helen M. Heneghan, Nabil Tariq, Stacy A. Brethauer, Matthew Kroh, Bipan Chand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Background: Anastomotic complications after upper gastrointestinal surgery present an arduous therapeutic challenge. Avoiding revisional surgery is desirable and might be possible with the advent of endoscopically placed stents. We reviewed our experience with endoscopic stent management of anastomotic complications after esophagogastric surgery. Methods: A prospectively maintained database at our surgical endoscopy unit was reviewed to identify patients who had undergone endoscopic stent placement after various foregut procedures. Data were obtained on patient demographics, primary surgical and endoscopic procedures, and outcome. Results: From January 2007 to August 2010, 18 patients (12 women, mean age 51 ± 15 yr) underwent endoscopic stent placement for anastomotic complications; 14 were bariatric patients. A total of 31 stents (21 covered metal, 5 salivary, and 5 silicone-coated polyester) were used to treat anastomotic leaks (n = 13), strictures (n = 3), and fistulas (n = 2). Symptomatic improvement occurred in all but 2 patients (89%), and early oral intake was initiated in 11 (61%). Stent treatment was successful in definitively managing the anastomotic complication in 13 (72%) of the 18 patients. Five patients required additional surgical or endoscopic intervention. Stent migration occurred in 4 cases and was amenable to endoscopic management. Two patients died, with both deaths unrelated to stent placement. Conclusion: Endoscopic stent management of anastomotic complications after foregut surgery is effective in resolving symptoms, expediting enteral nutrition, and particularly successful for treating anastomotic leaks. In the absence of stents specifically designed for surgically altered gastrointestinal anatomy, some factors that might reduce the risk of stent migration include appropriate stent selection, anchoring the stent proximally, and regular surveillance after placement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-636
Number of pages9
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Anastomosis leakage
  • Anastomosis strictures
  • Anastomotic complications
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Covered self-expanding metal stents
  • Endoscopic stent
  • Fistula
  • Foregut surgery
  • Salivary stent
  • Silicone-coated polyester stent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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