Endoscopic Suturing

Providers within Virginia Mason’s Digestive Disease Institute now offer the innovative and minimally invasive option of endoscopic suturing for the treatment of a variety of gastrointestinal issues.

The closure of gastro-gastric and other gastrointestinal fistulas, as well as gastrointestinal leaks usually requires invasive open or laparoscopic surgery under general anesthesia and can be complex surgeries due to their inflammatory nature. Endoscopic suturing allows these closures to be done in a minimally invasive manner resulting in a shorter hospital stay, reduced postoperative pain, an earlier return to work, and a cosmetic advantage.

Endoscopic suturing for weight regain after bariatric surgery

Endoscopic suturing is also an option for bariatric patients who have regained weight after initial success from weight loss surgery.

Over time, the stomach pouch or the outlet that connects it to the small intestine can stretch. As a result, patients can eat more food before feeling full. Virginia Mason now offers a safe and effective endoscopic procedure to reduce the volume of an enlarged pouch and the diameter of the outlet to their original post-operative proportions.

This procedure is performed using a small, flexible endoscope and specialized devices that allows stitches to be placed through the endoscope. The scope and stitching devices are inserted through the mouth into the stomach pouch the same way as a standard endoscope. Stitches are then placed around the outlet to reduce the diameter, typically from the size of a silver dollar to the size of a dime. The same technique may then be used to place additional stitches in the stomach pouch to reduce its volume capacity.

  • Endoscopic suturing is performed in the Integrated Procedural Center in the Jones Pavilion.

What are the benefits of endoscopic suturing?

Scarring and adhesions from the initial weight loss surgery procedure often make open or laparoscopic revision surgery very challenging, and at times impossible. Abdominal revision surgery takes longer than the original weight loss surgery and patients are three times more likely to develop complications.

Having a revision through endoscopic procedure decreases the patient’s risks when compared to abdominal revision surgery. Patients experience less pain, recover faster, and have no abdominal scarring. Typically, patients go home the same day or the next day, but each patient’s discharge will vary based on the physician’s recommendation.

What are the side effects of endoscopic suturing?

It is likely that patients will feel little or no discomfort from the endoscopic procedure. Minor side effects may include gas pain, nausea, sore throat, swollen tongue, and lip pain from the insertion of the endoscope into the mouth.

What is the recovery process for endoscopic suturing?
Following endoscopic outlet and pouch repair, most patients resume normal activities the day following the procedure. Patients should follow the diet that they are provided.

What if I have other questions or concerns about any type of endoscopic suturing?

Our staff and nurses are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They can be reached at (206) 223-2319.