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J Pediatr Surg. 1990 Nov;25(11):1169-73.

Complications of gastroesophageal antireflux surgery in neurologically impaired versus neurologically normal children.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC 20307.


Antireflux surgery was performed in 234 children over a 5-year period; 153 were neurologically impaired (NI) and 81 were neurologically normal (NN). Initial presentation, demographic data, and type of antireflux operation were similar in the two groups. Eighty-six percent of the NI group versus 30% of the NN group had gastrostomy tubes placed. The incidence of late postoperative complications was 26% in the NI group and 12% in the NN group (P less than .01). During the late postoperative period, NI children underwent reoperation four times as frequently as NN children (19% v 5%, respectively; P less than .01). Wrap herniation accounted for 38% of complications and 59% of reoperations in the late postoperative period. Mortality due to aspiration occurred in 9% of the NI group versus 1% of the NN group. Combined failure rate (reoperation plus aspiration-induced deaths) was 28% in NI and 6% in NN (P less than .01). We conclude that neurological status is the major predictor of operative success and that wrap herniation due to crural disruption is the most common cause of operative failure.

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