Internal endoscopic drainage as first line or second line treatment in case of postsleeve gastrectomy fistulas
Background and study aims Management of post-sleeve gastrectomy fistulas (PSGF) recently has evolved, resulting in prioritization of internal endoscopic drainage (IED). We report our experience with the technique in a tertiary center. Patients and methods This was a single-center, retrospective study of 44 patients whose PSGF was managed with IED, comparing two periods: after 2013 (Group 1; n = 22) when IED was used in first line and before 2013 (Group 2; n = 22) when IED was applied in second line. Demographic data, pre-endoscopic management, characteristics of fistulas, therapeutic modalities and outcomes were recorded and compared between the two groups. The primary endpoint was IED efficacy; the secondary endpoint was a comparison of outcomes depending on the timing of IED in the management strategy. Results The groups were matched in gender (16 female, 16 male), mean age (43 years old), severity of fistula, delay before treatment, and exposure to previous endoscopic or surgical treatments. The overall efficacy rate was 84 % (37/44): 86 % in Group 1 and 82 % in Group 2 (NS). There was one death and one patient who underwent surgery. The median time to healing was 226 ± 750 days (Group 1) vs. 305 ± 300 days (Group 2) (NS), with a median number of endoscopies of 3 ± 6 vs. 4.5 ± 2.4 (NS). There were no differences in number of nasocavity drains and double pigtail stents (DPS), but significantly more metallic stents, complications, and secondary strictures were seen in Group 2. Conclusion IED for management of PSGF is effective in more than 80 % of cases whenever it is used during the therapeutic strategy. This approach should be favored when possible.