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Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 Aug;94(2):429-33; discussion 434-5. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.04.054. Epub 2012 Jul 3.

Transthoracic repair of slipped Nissen fundoplications: technique and results.

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  • 1Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas 78229, USA.



Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication is a common operation performed for reflux disease, generally with good results. A small percentage of patients experience transthoracic migration of the wrap, causing recurrent symptoms and eventually requiring transthoracic repair.


A retrospective chart review was performed for all patients who underwent a transthoracic repair of a slipped Nissen fundoplication at our institution from 2006 to 2010. Data included demographics, previous antireflux operations, symptoms at presentation, findings at operation, and overall outcome.


Sixteen patients with a mean age of 61 years (range, 51-76 years) were identified who fit inclusion criteria. The most common presenting symptom was pain. Intraoperative findings included hiatal breakdown in all patients, shortened esophagus in 10 (62%) patients, and foreign body/mesh in 4 (25%) patients. Nine (56%) patients underwent a Collis gastroplasty along with a Nissen fundoplication. Nissen fundoplication alone was performed in 6 (38%) patients and a Belsey fundoplication with a Collis gastroplasty was performed in 1 (6%) patient. Minor complications occurred in 4 (25%) patients and major complications were seen in 2 (13%) patients. The median length of stay was 9 days (range, 6-30 days). There were no postoperative deaths. Overall, 12 (75%) of the patients were judged to have a good outcome, 3 (19%) a fair outcome, and 1 (6%) a poor outcome over a median 9-month follow-up.


Transthoracic repair in patients who have had transthoracic migration of a previous Nissen fundoplication has acceptable surgical outcome and affords symptomatic relief to the majority of patients.

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