Combined Endoscopic and Surgical Treatment of Severe Gastrointestinal Bleeding in a Patient with Heart Assist Device under Therapeutic Anticoagulation.
Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is a common complication after heart assist device placement. Reasons for bleeding are multifactorial. Endoscopic therapy is the treatment of choice, whereas invasive procedures are avoided in these critically ill patients. We present the case of a 65-year-old male patient experiencing severe GI bleeding after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and right ventricular assist device (RVAD) placement with therapeutic anticoagulation. Endoscopically, multiple gastric bleeding sources were found but could not be treated effectively due to a large blood clot. A combined endoscopic and surgical treatment was initiated, including gastrotomy for blood clot removal, surgical transgastric suturing, endoscopic over-the-scope clip (OTSC) placement and hemospray application. Postoperative endoscopic visualization showed effective bleeding control. The patient unfortunately died due to causes unrelated to the treatment. This case shows that a minimal invasive combination of endoscopic and surgical techniques can be an alternative treatment for severe upper GI bleeding in critically ill and anticoagulated patients.