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Dysphagia after antireflux surgery

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Dysphagia is experienced by many patients after antireflux surgery. This literature review examines factors associated with the development, prediction and management of postoperative dysphagia.Methods

Published studies examining issues related to dysphagia, gastro-oesophageal reflux and fundoplication were reviewed.Results

Postoperative dysphagia is usually temporary but proves troublesome for 5–10 per cent of patients. Technical modifications, such as a partial wrap, division of short gastric vessels and method of hiatal closure, have not conclusively reduced its incidence. There is no reliable preoperative test to predict dysphagia.Conclusion

It is uncertain whether postoperative dysphagia arises from patient predilection or is largely a consequence of mechanical changes created by fundoplication. Anatomical errors account for a significant proportion of patients referred for correction of dysphagia but these are uncommon in large single-institution studies. Abnormal manometry cannot predict dysphagia and, on current evidence, ‘tailoring’ the operation does not prevent its occurrence.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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