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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2012 Jan;143(1):228-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2011.10.008. Epub 2011 Nov 8.

Endoscopic fundoplication for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease: initial experience.

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  • 1Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass 02118, USA.



Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) is a promising approach for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that may decrease morbidity compared with conventional antireflux procedures. We report our initial experience with this minimally invasive approach.


Over a 24-month period, 46 patients (mean age, 49 years; 50% female) underwent 48 TIF procedures. All procedures were performed under general anesthesia. Two surgeons participated in all cases; one served as the endoscopist, and the other performed the partial fundoplication. Heartburn severity was measured using the GERD health-related quality of life (GERD-HRQL) instrument (best score = 0, worst score = 45), which includes an additional question assessing overall satisfaction.


Preoperatively, 33 (72%) of 46 patients had small (<3 cm) hiatal hernias, and none had undergone any previous antireflux procedures. Preoperative workup included manometry and barium esophagogram, with pH testing reserved for patients with atypical symptoms or typical symptoms and a lack of response to proton-pump inhibitors. The mean procedure time was 83 minutes (range, 36-180 minutes). The mean procedure time decreased after the first 5 cases from 122 to 78 minutes (P = .001). Mean length of stay was 1.3 days. One patient was readmitted with aspiration pneumonia. Three patients had minor complications (1 had minor bleeding from a suture site and 2 had urinary retention). There were no perioperative deaths. Mean follow-up was 140 days. The mean GERD-HRQL scores improved significantly (23 vs 7; P < .001). There were 22 patients with follow-up greater than 90 days (mean follow-up, 240 days). GERD-HRQL scores remained significantly improved for these patients (23 vs 8; P = .001). Four patients from the entire group (8.6%) had no improvement, in 3 instances due to breakdown of the wrap. Two patients were treated with repeat endoscopic fundoplication and 1 was treated with laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication, and all had a significant improvement in symptoms after reoperation.


TIF is effective at short-term follow-up and safe for patients with GERD. However, long-term follow-up and randomized trials are required to assess the efficacy and durability of this approach compared with conventional surgical repair.

Copyright © 2012 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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