Marginal ulceration following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: risk factors for ulcer development, recurrence and need for revisional surgery Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Marginal ulcer formation is a known complication following RYGB. While most respond to medical therapy, many patients have recurrent or chronic MU. Although non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use, smoking and Helicobacter pylori infection are known risk factors of MU, little is known about what increases the likelihood of developing recalcitrant ulcers. The objective of this study is to identify risk factors for marginal ulcer (MU) formation, including recalcitrant ulcers requiring surgical revision, and to define the incidence and outcomes of revisional surgery. METHODS: All patients who underwent RYGB between 2011 and 2017 at a high-volume academic center were included. Patients with a postoperative diagnosis of MU were identified from the institution's bariatric database. Patient characteristics, operative data and surgical outcomes were analyzed using data collected in the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program and the Ontario Bariatric Registry. RESULTS: A total of 2830 RYGB were performed during the study period. The incidence of MU was 6.9% with 1% of patients requiring revisional surgery for a recalcitrant ulcer. Patients with a history of smoking (HR 5.03), immunosuppression (HR 4.60) and preoperative NSAID use (HR 3.11) were significantly more likely to develop a MU requiring surgical revision. Patients undergoing revision reported resolution of their symptoms in only 36% of cases with 57% developing a recurrent ulcer. CONCLUSION: Patients with a history of smoking and use of immunosuppressive medication were at significantly higher risk of developing MU that failed medical therapy. Additional evidence is needed to inform perioperative management of bariatric patients.


  • Di Palma, Adam
  • Liu, Benjamin
  • Maeda, Azusa
  • Anvari, Mehran
  • Jackson, Timothy
  • Okrainec, Allan

publication date

  • May 2021