Reoperative Heller Myotomy: More Pain, Less Gain
Heller myotomy provides durable and effective treatment of achalasia. Due to recurrence or persistence of symptoms, a small subset of patients seeks reoperation. This study was undertaken to determine if reoperative Heller myotomy provides salutary amelioration of symptoms. 609 patients undergoing laparoscopic Heller myotomy between 1992 to 2013 were prospectively followed; 38 underwent reoperative myotomy. Patients graded their symptom frequency and severity before and after myotomy on a Likert scale. Median data are reported. Patients undergoing reoperative myotomy, when compared to those undergoing their first myotomy, experienced a higher conversion rate to an “open” myotomy (8% vs 1%, P < 0.05) and a longer length of stay (3 vs 1 day, P < 0.05). Reoperative myotomy led to improvement in symptoms, but the magnitude of improvement in symptoms (e.g., dysphagia, choking, and coughing) was less than for patients undergoing their first myotomy (all P < 0.05). Patients undergoing reoperative Heller myotomy were less likely to report symptoms occurring once per month or less (83% vs 56%, P < 0.01). Patients undergoing reoperative myotomy note improvement in symptoms, although to a lesser extent than patients undergoing their first myotomy. Patients undergoing reoperative Heller myotomy can expect to experience less improvement of symptoms, denoting the importance of the first myotomy.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 June 2015
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