Endoscopic Stitching and Suturing

Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center was the first facility in Wisconsin and one of the first centers in the United States to provide endoscopic suturing.

Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center was the first in the United States to repair a spontaneous esophageal perforation and iatrogenic duodenal perforation with endoscopic suturing.

Endoscopic stitching or suturing is an alternative to surgery for repairing gastrointestinal bleeds, fistulas, ulcers stomas, other small defects and complications from weight loss procedures.

Endoscopic stitching or suturing (OverStitch™) has advantages over traditional open surgery and even minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, including a lower risk of infection, less post-operative pain, faster recovery time and no visible scars.

Why it is Done

You might have endoscopic stitching or suturing if you:

  • Have gained weight after gastric bypass (bariatric) surgery due to an enlarged gastric pouch and need to have the procedure revised
  • Have a post-operative leak in your gastrointestinal tract
  • Have a fistula (abnormal opening) between two organs or between your gastrointestinal tract and the skin
  • Have a perforation (hole) in your gastrointestinal tract from trauma or from an endoscopic or surgical procedure

What to Expect

  • Your doctor performs stitching and suturing using an endoscopic procedure. The procedure takes place at a clinic, outpatient surgical center or hospital.
  • You may be asked to not eat before your procedure or to eat only clear liquids. You also might need to avoid certain medications. Your doctor goes over these instructions with you.
  • You have general anesthesia to make you sleep during the outpatient procedure.
  • Your doctor may numb your throat with a spray before placing the endoscope (tube) in your mouth. You lie on your back or on your side during the procedure. Sometimes, the endoscope needs to be inserted through the rectum.
  • Your doctor inserts an endoscope (flexible tube equipped with a light and tiny camera) down your throat to perform the procedure in your esophagus, stomach or small intestine. Your doctor looks at the images on different computer screens.
  • The procedure takes about XX minutes. You are monitored for an hour or two afterward. This waiting period is normal after sedation medication. Then you can go home.
  • You can't drive yourself home after having sedation medication. Be sure to bring someone along or arrange for a ride home.
  • You might need to rest the remainder of the day because you've had a sedative. Usually, you can return to most normal activities. You might notice a sore throat or abdominal bloating for a day or two.

What the Risks Are

Complications are not common. Some people have a reaction to sedation medication or bleeding. Infection is a possibility with many procedures. Rarely, you can get a tear in the lining of your stomach or duodenum (part of your small intestine) that needs surgical repair.

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