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Surg Endosc. 2002 Jan;16(1):25-30. Epub 2001 Oct 13.

Laparoscopic antireflux surgery in the elderly.

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Department of Minimally Invasive Surgery and Surgical Research, Legacy Health System, 501 N. Graham, Suite 120, Portland, OR 97227, USA.



Laparoscopic antireflux surgery is frequently denied to older patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) because of a perceived higher operative complication rate, a decreased impact of the intervention on quality of life, and decreased cost effectiveness. This study compares disease severity, surgical outcomes, and impact on quality of life between elderly and young patients with GERD.


Patients were selected from a prospectively maintained database of 1100 patients who underwent various laparoscopic esophageal procedures at our institution. Only patients having chronic intractable GERD and a minimum 6 months' follow-up were included in the study. Thirty elderly patients with a mean age of 71.2 years (SD +/- 5.6) were compared with a group of 30 younger patients (mean age, 43.9 +/- 12.8 years). Comparisons were made between subjective and objective outcomes, operative results, and health-related quality of life (HQRL) scores using SF-36 instruments.


The preoperative symptom assessment scores presenting frequency of symptoms on a 0-4 scale), and preoperative pH and manometry data were comparable in the two groups. Elderly patients had significantly higher ASA (American Society of Anesthesiologists) scores. Each group demonstrated a significant improvement in the postoperative symptom assessment scores and the esophageal functional studies (p<0.05). However, no significant differences were found in terms of postoperative complications, postoperative hospital stay, postoperative symptom scores, Demeester scores, or the HRQL data.


Laparoscopic antireflux surgery in elderly patients improves acid reflux and appears to be safe and effective as measured by postoperative testing in elderly and young patients.

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