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Dis Esophagus. 2008;21(3):257-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2050.2007.00773.x.

Persistent dysphagia after laparoscopic fundoplication for gastro-esophageal reflux disease.

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  • 1General and Minimally Invasive Surgery, University of Milan, Istituto, Clinico Humanitas, Rozzano, Italy. uberto.fumagalli@humanitas.it


Persistent postoperative dysphagia is a potentially severe complication of fundoplication for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The aim of this retrospective study was to analyze our experience of laparoscopic fundoplication for GERD in 276 consecutive patients, to determine the frequency of postoperative dysphagia and assess treatments and outcomes. There was no relation between preoperative dysphagia, present in 24 patients (8.7%), and postoperative DeMeester grade 2 or 3 dysphagia, present in 25 patients (9.1%). Ten (3.6%) patients had clinically significant postoperative dysphagia, eight (2.9%) underwent esophageal dilation, with symptom improvement in five. Four (1.4%) of our patients (two with failed dilation) and 11 patients receiving antireflux surgery elsewhere, underwent re-operation for persistent dysphagia 12 months (median) after the first operation. DeMeester grade 0 or 1 dysphagia was obtained in 10/13 evaluable patients. Our experience is fully consistent with that of the recent literature. Redo surgery is necessary in only a small fraction of operated patients with GERD with good probability of resolving the dysphagia. Best outcomes are obtained when an anatomical cause of the dysphagia is documented preoperatively.

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