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Am Surg. 2001 Nov;67(11):1059-65; discussion 1065-7.

Laparoscopic anterior esophageal myotomy and toupet fundoplication for achalasia.

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Department of General Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte North Carolina 28232, USA.


Achalasia is an esophageal motility disorder characterized by the failure of lower esophageal sphincter relaxation and the absence of esophageal peristalsis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcomes of patients undergoing laparoscopic esophageal myotomy and Toupet fundoplication for achalasia. A 9-cm myotomy was performed in most cases extending 7 cm above and 2 cm below the gastroesophageal junction. Severity of dysphagia, heartburn, chest pain, and regurgitation was graded preoperatively and postoperatively using a five-point symptomatic scale (0-4). Patients also graded their outcomes as excellent, good, fair, or poor. Between December 1995 and November 2000 a total of 49 patients (23 male, 26 female) with a mean age of 44.3 years (range 23-71 years) were diagnosed with achalasia. Mean duration of symptoms was 40.2 months (range 4-240 months). Thirty-seven patients (76%) had had a previous nonsurgical intervention or combinations of nonsurgical interventions [pneumatic dilation (23), bougie dilation (five), and botulinum toxin (19)], and two patients had failed esophageal myotomies. Forty-five patients underwent laparoscopic esophageal myotomy and Toupet fundoplication. Two patients received laparoscopic esophageal myotomies without an antireflux procedure, and two were converted to open surgery. One patient presented 10 hours after a pneumatically induced perforation and underwent a successful laparoscopic esophageal myotomy and partial fundoplication. Mean operative time was 180.5 minutes (range 145-264 minutes). Mean length of stay was 1.98 days (range 1-18 days). There were five (10%) perioperative complications but no esophageal leaks. There was a significant difference (P < 0.05) between the preoperative and postoperative dysphagia, chest pain, and regurgitation symptom scores. All patients stated that they were improved postoperatively. Eighty-six per cent rated their outcome as excellent, 10 per cent as good, and 4 per cent as fair. Laparoscopic anterior esophageal myotomy and Toupet fundoplication effectively alleviates dysphagia, regurgitation, and chest pain accompanying achalasia and is associated with high patient satisfaction, a rapid hospital discharge, and few complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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