A staple line leak is an internal leak or opening that can occur along any of the staple lines of a Roux En Y Gastric Bypass or a Sleeve Gastrectomy. The risk of developing a leak in a Roux En Y Gastric Bypass is approximately 1%. The risk of developing a leak in a Sleeve Gastrectomy is approximately 0.5%. A leak may result in needing more surgeries, revisions, and prolonged hospitalization with rehabilitation.

In a Roux En Y Gastric bypass, when the surgeon attaches the small intestine to the large intestine or the small intestine to the stomach, the connection is called an anastomosis. In both a Sleeve Gastrectomy and a Roux En Y Gastric Bypass, staples are used as a temporary “glue” to create a watertight connection of these surgical areas. Then, over time, the body’s healing power takes over for the staples to create a seal over the staples. If the body’s healing power does not form a complete seal, or if the staples come apart (dehisce), then leakage of fluid from within the bowel or stomach occurs and it is called a staple line leak. This is one of the more serious potential risks of Sleeve Gastrectomy and Roux En Y Gastric Bypass surgery. Fluid from the GI tract that contains bacteria, then leaks into the abdomen (where it doesn’t belong), and can cause a serious infection which is accompanied by much swelling, a rapid pulse rate, fevers, and sometimes can form an abscess. This complication, although quite rare, is always a very serious one.

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Most would think that an immediate operation is required to seal the leak and drain away the infection. There are certain cases where this may be necessary but sometimes an interventional radiologist can perform the drainage without the need for surgery. When this is possible, the insult of surgery, as well as the spreading of infection into the rest of the abdomen, can be avoided.

Please feel free to call our office at 800-633-THIN if you have any further questions about anastomotic leaks or other risks of gastric bypass surgery. Risks and side effects are important to understand clearly before moving ahead with your bariatric surgery.


Lost 145lbs

Thomas' success story

I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man.

Everybody treated me like a king. The day of surgery, I was excited. The hospital couldn’t be any nicer. I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man. My recovery was awesome. I was out of bed that day. My wife and kids were my motivation on getting this surgery. They are my whole life. I’m happy I’m going to be around for them.

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Lost 76lbs

Nicole's success story

I hit my goal weight ... and I feel fabulous

I had the gastric bypass. I am Type 2 Diabetic and I wanted to gain control of my sugar. I hit my goal weight in about 5 and half months and I feel fabulous. The procedure has completely changed my life for the better because it has empowered me as a middle aged woman that I can really do everything and anything that I want to do. I don't put an age on anything. I don't say I'm too old for something.

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Lost 76lbs

Robert's success story

I was tired of the way I looked. I was tired of the way I felt.

I knew if I didn't change something soon, I was going to be in a lot of trouble. The consultation process was a lot easier than I expected. I was met with open arms. I was treated like I was the only patient here. Not only did they answer all of my questions, they had questions for me to make sure I was the right candidate for the surgery. After surgery and that weight started dropping off, my life started changing for the better.

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Lost 92lbs

Samantha's success story

I feel like a completely different person.

I had the gastric sleeve procedure. The driving factor behind me getting this procedure was my health. I didn't feel good physically or mentally. I had joint pains, even standing was difficult sometimes. Emotionally, this surgery completely turned my life around. I have so much more confidence. So much more happiness. I feel like a completely different person. I feel stronger. I feel able to accomplish more.

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Lost 99lbs