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Ten-Year Follow Up after Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

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Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication was first undertaken in the early 1990s. Appreciable numbers of patients with 10-year follow up are only now available. This study assesses long-term outcome and durability of outcome after laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication for treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Since 1991, 829 patients have undergone laparoscopic fundoplications and are prospectively followed. Two hundred thirty-nine patients, 44 per cent male, with a median age of 53 years (± 15 standard deviation) underwent laparoscopic Nissen fundoplications at least 10 years ago; 28 (12%) patients were “redo” fundoplications. Before and after fundoplication, among many symptoms, patients scored the frequency and severity of dysphagia, chest pain, vomiting, regurgitation, choking, and heartburn using a Likert scale (0 = never/not bothersome to 10 = always/very bothersome). Symptom scores before versus after fundoplication were compared using a Wilcoxon matched-pairs test. Data are reported as median, mean ± standard deviation, when appropriate. After fundoplication, length of stay was 2 days, 3 days ± 4.8. Intra-operative inadvertent events were uncommon and without sequela: 1 esophagotomy, 1 gastrotomy, 3 cardiac dysrhythmias, and 3 CO2 pneumothoraces. Complications after fundoplication included: 1 postpneumonic empyema, 3 urinary retentions, 2 superficial wound infections, 1-urinary tract infection, 1 ileus, and 1 intraabdominal abscess. There were two perioperative deaths; 88 percent of the patients are still alive. After laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication, frequency and severity scores dramatically improved for all symptoms queried (P < 0.001), especially for heartburn frequency (8, 8 ± 3.2 versus 2, 3 ± 2.8, P < 0.001) and severity (10, 8 ± 2.9 versus 1, 2 ± 2.5, P < 0.001). Eighty per cent of patients rate their symptoms as almost completely resolved or greatly improved, and 85 per cent note they would again have the laparoscopic fundoplication as a result of analysis of our initial experience, thereby promoting superior outcomes in the future. Nonetheless, follow up at 10 years and beyond of our initial experience documents that laparoscopic fundoplication durably provides high patient satisfaction resulting from long-term amelioration of the frequency and severity of symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. These results promote further application of laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Digestive Disorders Center, Tampa General Hospital and the Department of Surgery, University of South-Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, Florida

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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