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J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2019 Oct;29(10):1315-1319. doi: 10.1089/lap.2019.0076. Epub 2019 Jul 2.

It Is a Wrap! Or Is It?: The Role of Fundoplication in Infant Feeding Intolerance.

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Department of Surgical Services, Division of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Akron Children's Hospital, Akron, Ohio.
Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Kaleida Health, John R. Oishei Children's Hospital, University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, New York.


Purpose: Fundoplication is one of the most common procedures performed by pediatric surgeons, frequently for gastroesophageal reflux with feeding intolerance. No consensus exists in its management, with multiple institutions opting for medical therapy over surgical intervention. Methods: A case-based survey was administered at a national pediatric surgery conference. Clinical vignettes described former-premature infants with reflux and feeding intolerance with or without failure to thrive (FTT), neurological impairment, complex cardiopathy, and respiratory symptoms. Odds ratios (ORs) for fundoplication were calculated from participants' responses. Results: Surgeons elected to perform fundoplication in 14%-74% of cases. The OR for performing fundoplication in the presence of FTT was 1.84 (confidence interval [CI] 1.34-2.54, P = .0002) overall, achieving significance in subgroup analysis for cardiopathy (OR 3.56, CI 1.88-6.71, P = .0001) and neurological impairment (OR 1.79, CI 1.04-3.07, P = .04), but not in the absence of these comorbidities (OR 1.05, CI 0.61-1.83, P = .86). The OR for fundoplication in the presence of neurological impairment was 1.97 (CI 1.34-2.90, P = .0005) and that for cardiopathy was 1.70 (CI 1.20-2.40, P = .003), independent of FTT status. In subgroup analysis, the greatest predictors for fundoplication were neurological impairment with FTT (OR 2.63, CI 1.55-4.48, P = .0004) and complex cardiopathy with FTT and cough/syncope (OR 7.14, CI 4.05-12.58, P < .0001). Presence of cardiopathy without FTT had the overall lowest odds of fundoplication (OR 0.40, CI 0.21-0.78, P = .006). Conclusion: Surgeons tend to perform fundoplication in the presence of FTT and other comorbidities, particularly when these are concurrent. Respiratory symptoms are a strong predictor for fundoplication in patients with complex cardiopathies.


gastric fundoplication; gastroesophageal reflux; infant feeding intolerance


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