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Dis Esophagus. 2003;16(4):284-90.

Heller's esophagomyotomy with or without a 360 degrees floppy Nissen fundoplication for achalasia. Long-term results from a prospective randomized study.

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Department of Surgery, Business Area Elective Surgery, Helsingborg Hospital Inc., Helsingborg, Sweden.


Heller's esophagomyotomy relieves dysphagia but does not restore esophageal peristalsis. The myotomy may induce reflux and the addition of a 360 degrees fundoplication may be hazardous with regard to the remaining aperistaltic esophagus. The aim of this prospectively randomized clinical trial was to compare the outcome for patients with uncomplicated achalasia who underwent an anterior Heller's esophagomyotomy (H group) with or without an additional floppy Nissen fundoplication (H + N group). Between 1984 and 1995, 20 patients were prospectively randomized to one or other of the performed operations, 10 patients per group. Esophagitis including Barrett's esophagus (n = 2) was seen under medical treatment, in 6 of 9 in the H group but none in the H + N group. No patient in the H + N group required postoperative continuous acid-reducing drugs. Twenty-four-hour esophageal pH-studies in median 3.4 years after surgery showed pathological reflux expressed as a percentage of time below pH 4 of 13.1% in the H group compared to 0.15% (P < 0.001) in H + N group. One patient with recurrent dysphagia in the H + N group later had an esophagectomy. The remaining patients reported significant improvement of dysphagia without symptoms of reflux at 8.0 years follow-up. Heller's esophagomyotomy eliminates dysphagia, but can induce advanced reflux that requires medical treatment. The addition of a 360 degrees fundoplication eliminates reflux without adding dysphagia in the majority of patients and can be recommended for most patients with uncomplicated achalasia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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