(PRNewswire) For the first time, an international panel of experts has reached consensus on the best practices for performing Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy. The panel, made up of 25 leading bariatric surgeons, compiled the consensus statement to help the surgical community continue to improve patient outcomes, minimize complications and move toward adoption of standardized techniques. The results have been published in a paper titled International Sleeve Gastrectomy Expert Panel Consensus Statement: Best Practice Guidelines Based on Experience of Over 12,000 Cases in Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases (SOARD), the official journal of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
The assembly and work of the expert surgeon panel that developed the consensus was supported by an educational grant from Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. (EES). "There is a misleading perception amongst surgeons and patients that this procedure is an easy one," says lead author and panel chairman Raul J. Rosenthal, M.D., FACS, FASMBS, of the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute and the Cleveland Clinic Florida1. "Despite its simplicity, Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy requires a meticulous technique in order to avoid complications and maximize procedure outcomes. We felt the need to create guidelines to help surgeons prevent complications that are related, in most cases, to the learning curve."
To develop this consensus, the panel of expert surgeons convened in March 2011, representing 24 centers in 11 countries spanning every world region, with a collective experience of more than 12,000 Sleeve Gastrectomy cases. The surgeons reached agreement on the essential aspects of the procedure, including patient selection, proper surgical technique, and prevention and management of complications.
"This type of consensus meeting is, to our knowledge, one of the first aimed at standardizing a surgical technique," explains Dr. Rosenthal. "In these times, when so many new surgical technologies, techniques and procedures are being developed, it is crucial to provide resources for surgeons to learn best practices in a shorter period of time to achieve the optimal procedure results while minimizing complications."
Although not meant to establish a standard of practice, the consensus statement supports and encourages surgeons and surgical societies to develop standardized guidelines. It also highlights the areas needing additional study and long-term experience and data. In addition to Dr. Rosenthal, the co-chairs of the international consensus panel included Muffazal Lakdawala, M.D., Mumbai, India; Jacques Himpens, M.D., Belgium; and Almino Cardoso Ramos, M.D., Sao Paulo, Brazil.