Staple Line Breakdown Question

(deactivated member)
on 1/24/09 11:27 pm
So when I went to the surgeon the other day, which I didnt even get to meet him, one of his staff told me that IF  I had staple line breakdown that he would be willing to see me...I asked her, "wouldnt I "feel" it? Wouldnt there be symptoms"? She said no.  Does anyone know if she is correct?  I have tried to google it and the only thing I can find is medical mumbo-jumbo that I dont understand.
on 1/25/09 12:20 am
i've asked my dad that- he had the old-fashioned stomach stapling in the 80's and his staples came undone. he's also had gastric bypass and another revision of the gastric bypass. he said he never "felt" anything when the staples came undone, he just was able to eat a whole lot more all of the sudden.
Rhonda S.
on 1/25/09 2:20 am - Bensalem, PA
I had a Vertical Banded Gastroplasty in 1987.  When I went for a surgical consult regarding a revision to RNY,  the surgeon asked me what kind of restriction did I experience these days  I said, "Restriction??? I haven't had any restriction since about a year or so after the VBG."  The surgeon told me that that was a sign that I probably had a ruptured staple line.   The surgeon ordered an upper endoscopy. When my endoscopy was done the surgeon told me I had a total rupture of the staple line as well as of the band.  I didn't feel anything and I have lost and gained over 150 pounds in the 20 years since that surgery in '87.  I actually was thrilled to hear it because I knew that a technical or mechanical failure - like rupture of the staple line was the only way my insurance was going to cover a revision.  It also explains a few things along the way for me.  When I first begin to re-gain weight about 1.5 years after the surgery, I assumed it was all my fault and in my shame I didn't even check it out.   I've since learned that Vertical Banded Gastroplasties aren't that common anymore because of the high (up to 40%) failure rate.

I felt nothing. 

Good luck,
(deactivated member)
on 1/25/09 5:24 am
Is it a slow gain or a sudden gain when there is breakdown?  Am I grasping at straws? Probably! LOL
I mean, I lost weight at first! Over 140 pounds! I was at 110-115 for about 9 months - a year, then started gaining, slowly though, the weight has gone up and up since then.  I never really thought about a revision until my scale hit 200, a number I thought I would never ever in my life see again, but here I am.  UGH! It's so depressing, but I'll make it, I have to always remember, it could be worse.
on 1/25/09 10:26 am - OH
Shawna, are you saying that your doc will only see you if you have a "staple line breakdown?????    If so, please find another doctor. 

PM me if you want to chat.


on 1/25/09 10:25 pm - OH
Who is your Doctor? I didn't see my dr at first either (i saw his assistant). I did see him when I had the scope tho.
I have gained weight steadily over the past 4 years after my pregnancy. I blamed the fact that I was unable to walk like I used too and my physical activity had waned since I had such pain from vitamin deficient nerve damage.
I have pain in my belly around the button. He said I had a fistula. I hope they can do a revision so I can feel better again.
on 1/27/09 12:12 am - St. George, UT
Hello Not This Again:

To answer your question as to whether or not you could feel a staple line breakdown....No you cannot...I had Gastric Stapling back in the early eighties and I most definately felt nothing, no pain nothing other than I could eat a whole lot more. When the staples break open they don't normally tear or break the skin....I understand some have and one indication is that they could see low blood counts through blood tests...rare though. The only symptom you or anyone would have is the ability to eat normal amounts of food.

At least this is what happened to me, and they revised my Gastric Stapling, I think it was called a Gastroplasty and then went to full on RNY Gastric Bypass.

I am now trying for another Distal.

Hope this helps,


Kerry J.
on 1/27/09 6:36 am - Santa Clara, UT

The staple line in my 1980 bypass broke down and tore the tissue in my stomach; I almost bled to death, but I didn't feel anything. I also didn't really notice that I could eat a lot more. I was passing black stools, but didn't know what that meant, got up one morning and passed out on the bed. Wife took me in to see my PCP and he about crapped when he couldn't get any blood out of my fingers. He rushed me to the hospital and the pumped me full of blood. No one knew at the time that the blood was contaminated with Hep C and I ended up getting that too. You can read the whole story on my profile if you want more details, but the point is I didn't have a clue anything was wrong.

Your surgeon sounds like a jerk to me; I would be looking for a different surgeon.


(deactivated member)
on 1/27/09 6:57 am
Thank you all so much for your replies. 
I have decided to find a different know the saying "to go with your gut feeling"?  Well, I'm gonna listen and move on.  I talked to a WLS Center yesterday and will go see them after my upper GI.  So my story continues.