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Age Affects Presenting Symptoms of Achalasia and Outcomes after Myotomy

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Older patients with achalasia presumably have had a longer, more indolent course than younger patients. This study was undertaken to determine the impact of patient age and duration of symptoms on symptom severity and outcome after Heller myotomy. Two hundred sixty-two patients (142 men and 120 women), of average age 49 years ± 17.7 (SD), have undergone laparoscopic Heller myotomy. Patients scored their symptoms using a Likert scale and subjectively rated their overall outcome. Data are presented as median, mean ± SD, when appropriate. Follow-up is 25 months, 32 months ± 28.7. Symptom severity scores improved after myotomy (P < 0.001 for all, paired Student’s t test). Before myotomy, older patients had less dysphagia, regurgitation, choking, and chest pain (P < 0.05). Duration of preoperative symptoms did not correlate with frequency of symptoms. After myotomy, older patients had lower scores for dysphagia, chest pain, choking, and heartburn (P < 0.01); patients with prolonged durations of symptoms had lower dysphagia and choking scores. Neither age nor duration of symptoms had a significant effect on overall subjective outcomes. All patients should expect significant reductions in symptoms of achalasia following myotomy. Age and duration of symptoms impact symptoms before and after myotomy, but neither seem to impact subjective measure of outcome.
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Keywords: Research Article

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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