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01.01.2016 | Original Contributions | Ausgabe 1/2016

Obesity Surgery 1/2016

Should We Abandon Routine Microscopic Examination in Bariatric Sleeve Gastrectomy Specimens?

Obesity Surgery > Ausgabe 1/2016
Badr AbdullGaffar, Lakshmiah Raman, Ali Khamas, Faisal AlBadri



Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) is a relatively new bariatric surgical procedure to reduce weight in morbidly obese patients, with an overall low rate of complications and thus gaining a worldwide popularity. It provides an opportunity to study the pathology of the stomach in obese patients. Most studies, however, focused on clinical aspects, surgical techniques, and postoperative complications. Few authors studied the histopathologic findings. Whether routine histopathologic examination is warranted in patients with grossly unremarkable LSG specimens and nonsignificant clinical history was not previously studied.


We conducted a prospective study over 8 years to compare the prevalence, the morphologic spectrum and importance of histopathologic findings, and the frequency of incidental neoplasms in LSG specimens with other studies. We also proposed a protocol for the gross handling and sectioning of LSG specimens.


We found 546 LSG specimens. Five patients developed iatrogenic postoperative complications, two of which pursued a medicolegal case. There was no association between the histopathologic findings and the complications. Less than 1 % of incidental benign lesions were found. No malignancies were identified. All of the patients without postoperative complications had uneventful outcome after 5 months to 6 years follow-up.


Routine microscopic examination of all LSG specimens is not necessary. Selective microscopic examination guided by relevant clinical history and macroscopic examination is a better option. This protocol will save money, time, and workload without compromising patient’s safety and future management. However, a careful gross description is still necessary in certain cases for potential future medicolegal implications.

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