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Type: Journal article
Title: The influence of esophageal length on outcomes after laparoscopic fundoplication
Author: Yau, P.
Watson, D.
Jamieson, G.
Myers, J.
Carney, N.
Citation: Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 2000; 191(4):360-365
Publisher: Elsevier Science Inc
Issue Date: 2000
ISSN: 1072-7515
Statement of
Yau, Patrick ; Watson, David I ; Jamieson, Glyn G ; Myers, Jennifer ; Ascott, Nicola
Abstract: <h4>Background</h4>It has been suggested that laparoscopic antireflux surgery has been associated with an increased incidence of postoperative paraesophageal hiatus herniation, and that this comes (at least in part) from not performing an esophageal lengthening procedure in patients with preoperative esophageal shortening. This study was undertaken to determine whether patients with esophageal shortening have an increased risk of reoperation after laparoscopic antireflux surgery.<h4>Study design</h4>All patients who underwent a laparoscopic fundoplication between December 1991 and March 1999, and who had undergone preoperative esophageal manometry in our department were included in this study. Preoperative, operative, and followup data were collected prospectively, and original manometry recordings were reviewed to determine the length of the esophagus (the distance between the midpoints of the upper and lower esophageal sphincters). An index of esophageal length versus height was also calculated by dividing esophageal length by height. Esophageal length and the index were then compared with clinical outcomes. In addition, outcomes for the 50 patients with the shortest index was compared with outcomes of the 50 patients with the longest index.<h4>Results</h4>This study included 484 patients from an overall experience of 774 laparoscopic antireflux procedures. Postoperative followup ranged from 3 months to 5 years (median 2 years). Mean esophageal length was 23 cm (range 14 to 30 cm). There was a significant correlation between height and esophageal length (r = 0.44, p < 0.0001). Although patients with large hiatus hernias tended to have a shorter esophagus, preoperative endoscopic esophagitis grading did not influence length. Esophageal length did not influence the overall requirement for further surgical reintervention, although an analysis of esophageal length in patients who developed specific complications demonstrated that postoperative paraesophageal herniation was more likely in patients with a shorter esophagus, and reoperation for a tight esophageal hiatus was less likely in patients with a short esophagus. The incidence of paraesophageal hernia in the 50 patients with the shortest index was 8% versus 2% in the 50 patients with the longest index (p = 0.36).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Although the overall reoperation rate after laparoscopic fundoplication was not influenced by esophageal length, this study did demonstrate an association between esophageal shortening and postoperative paraesophageal herniation. But the increased risk of this problem is small, and for this reason a case cannot be made for patients with a manometrically short esophagus to routinely undergo an esophageal lengthening procedure.
Keywords: Esophagus
Gastroesophageal Reflux
Postoperative Complications
Analysis of Variance
Linear Models
Risk Assessment
Statistics, Nonparametric
Prospective Studies
Aged, 80 and over
Middle Aged
DOI: 10.1016/S1072-7515(00)00363-X
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Surgery publications

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