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J Gastrointest Surg. 2007 Jan;11(1):29-35.

Gastrectomy as a remedial operation for failed fundoplication.

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  • 1Division of Thoracic and Foregut Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


The decision for, and choice of, a remedial antireflux procedure after a failed fundoplication is a challenging clinical problem. Success depends upon many factors including the primary symptom responsible for failure, the severity of underlying anatomic and physiologic defects, and the number and type of previous remedial attempts. Satisfactory outcomes after reoperative fundoplication have been reported to be as low as 50%. Consequently, the ideal treatment option is not clear. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of gastrectomy as a remedial antireflux procedure for patients with a failed fundoplication. The study population consisted of 37 patients who underwent either gastrectomy (n = 12) with Roux-en-Y reconstruction or refundoplication (n = 25) between 1997-2005. Average age, M/F ratio, and preoperative BMI were not significantly different between the two groups. Outcome measures included perioperative morbidity, relief of primary and secondary symptoms, and the patients' overall assessment of outcome. Mean follow up was 3.5 and 3.3 years in the gastrectomy and refundoplication groups, respectively (p = 0.43). Gastrectomy patients had a higher prevalence of endoscopic complications of GERD (58% vs 4%, p = 0.006) and of multiple prior fundoplications than those having refundoplication (75% vs 24%, p = 0.004). Mean symptom severity scores were improved significantly by both gastrectomy and refundoplication, but were not significantly different from each other. Complete relief of the primary symptom was significantly greater after gastrectomy (89% vs 50%, p = 0.044). Overall patient satisfaction was similar in both groups (p = 0.22). In-hospital morbidity was higher after gastrectomy than after refundoplication (67% vs 20%, p = 0.007) and new onset dumping developed in two gastrectomy patients. In select patients with severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and multiple previous fundoplications, primary symptom resolution occurs significantly more often after gastrectomy than after repeat fundoplication. Gastrectomy, however, is associated with higher morbidity. Gastrectomy is an acceptable treatment option for recurrent symptoms particularly when another attempt at fundoplication is ill advised, such as in the setting of multiple prior fundoplications or failed Collis gastroplasty.

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