Candy cane syndrome: A systematic review

Ricardo Rio-Tinto, Jorge Canena, Jacques Devière

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Candy cane syndrome (CCS) is a condition that occurs following gastrectomy or gastric bypass. CCS remains underrecognized, yet its prevalence is likely to rise due to the obesity epidemic and increased use of bariatric surgery. No previous literature review on this subject has been published.

AIM: To collate the current knowledge on CCS.

METHODS: A literature search was conducted with PubMed and Google Scholar for studies from May 2007, until March 2023. The bibliographies of the retrieved articles were manually searched for additional relevant articles.

RESULTS: Twenty-one articles were identified (135 patients). Abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, and reflux were the most reported symptoms. Upper gastrointestinal (GI) series and endoscopy were performed for diagnosis. Surgical resection of the blind limb was performed in 13 studies with resolution of symptoms in 73%-100%. In surgical series, 9 complications were reported with no mortality. One study reported the surgical construction of a jejunal pouch with clinical success. Six studies described endoscopic approaches with 100% clinical success and no complications. In one case report, endoscopic dilation did not improve the patient's symptoms.

CONCLUSION: CCS remains underrecognized due to lack of knowledge about this condition. The growth of the obesity epidemic worldwide and the increase in bariatric surgery are likely to increase its prevalence. CCS can be prevented if an elongated blind loop is avoided or if a jejunal pouch is constructed after total gastrectomy. Diagnosis should be based on symptoms, endoscopy, and upper GI series. Blind loop resection is curative but complex and associated with significant complications. Endoscopic management using different approaches to divert flow is effective and should be further explored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-517
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2023


  • Blind pouch syndrome
  • Candy cane syndrome
  • End-to-side enteral anastomosis
  • Post-gastrectomy syndromes
  • Side-to-side enteral anastomosis


Dive into the research topics of 'Candy cane syndrome: A systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this