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Randomized clinical trial of hand-assisted laparoscopic versus open Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for the treatment of morbid obesity




Roux-en-equation image gastric bypass (RYGBP) has increased in popularity since the introduction of the laparoscopic procedure, but this approach requires extensive surgical skill and the learning curve is steep. The present study examined the suitability of hand-assisted laparoscopy for RYGBP.


In a prospective trial, 50 patients (median age 38 years, body mass index 45 kg/m2) were randomized to either hand-assisted (n = 25) or open (n = 25) RYGBP. The hand-assisted device was introduced through a right subcostal incision. Laparoscopic staplers were also used in the open group, allowing a short upper midline incision. The gastrojejunostomy was made by means of a circular stapler and the Roux limb placed behind the colon and excluded stomach.


The postoperative outcome, with respect to morphine consumption, complications, hospital stay (6 days) and weight loss, was similar in the two groups. The operating time was significantly longer in the hand-assisted group (150 versus 85 min; P < 0·001) but there was no conversion to open operation. One patient in the hand-assisted group was reoperated owing to leakage and one patient developed an incisional hernia after open RYGBP.


The hand-assisted technique was feasible and allowed good working conditions in all patients. However, the postoperative outcome was excellent in both groups and there was no advantage to the hand-assisted technique. Copyright © 2004 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.