Durability of Laparoscopic Repair of Paraesophageal Hernia

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ObjectivesTo define a method of primary repair that would minimize hernia recurrence and to report medium-term follow-up of patients who underwent laparoscopic repair of paraesophageal hernia to verify durability of the repair and to assess the effect of inclusion of an antireflux procedure.Summary Background DataPrimary paraesophageal hernia repair was completed laparoscopically in 55 patients. There were five recurrences within 6 months when the sac was not excised (20%). After institution of a technique of total sac excision in 30 subsequent repairs, no early recurrences were observed.MethodsInclusion of an antireflux procedure, incidence of subsequent hernia recurrence, dysphagia, and gastroesophageal reflux symptoms were recorded in clinical follow-up of patients who underwent a laparoscopic procedure.ResultsMean length of follow-up was 29 months. Forty-nine patients were available for follow-up, and one patient had died of lung cancer. Mean age at surgery was 68 years. The surgical morbidity rate in elderly patients was no greater than in younger patients. Eleven patients (22%) had symptoms of mild to moderate reflux, and 15 were taking acid-reduction medication for a variety of dyspeptic complaints. All but 2 of these 15 had undergone 360° fundoplication at initial repair. Two patients (4%) had late recurrent hernia, each small, demonstrated by esophagram or endoscopy.ConclusionsLaparoscopic repair in the medium term appeared durable. The incidence of postsurgical reflux symptoms was unrelated to inclusion of an antireflux procedure. In the absence of motility data, partial fundoplication was preferred, although dysphagia after floppy 360° wrap was rare. With the low morbidity rate of this procedure, correction of symptomatic paraesophageal hernia appears indicated in patients regardless of age.

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