Heller Myotomy Versus Heller Myotomy With Dor Fundoplication for Achalasia: A Prospective Randomized Double-Blind Clinical Trial

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We sought to determine the impact of the addition of Dor fundoplication on the incidence of postoperative gastroesophageal reflux (GER) after Heller myotomy.

Summary Background Data:

Based only on case series, many surgeons believe that an antireflux procedure should be added to the Heller myotomy. However, no prospective randomized data support this approach.

Patients and Methods:

In this prospective, randomized, double-blind, institutional review board-approved clinical trial, patients with achalasia were assigned to undergo Heller myotomy or Heller myotomy plus Dor fundoplication. Patients were studied via 24-hour pH study and manometry at 6 months postoperatively. Pathologic GER was defined as distal esophageal time acid exposure time greater than 4.2% per 24-hour period. The outcome variables were analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis.


Forty-three patients were enrolled. There were no differences in the baseline characteristics between study groups. Pathologic GER occurred in 10 of 21 patients (47.6%) after Heller and in 2 of 22 patients (9.1%) after Heller plus Dor (P = 0.005). Heller plus Dor was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of GER (relative risk 0.11; 95% confidence interval 0.02–0.59; P = 0.01). Median distal esophageal acid exposure time was lower in the Heller plus Dor (0.4%; range, 0–16.7) compared with the Heller group (4.9%; range, 0.1–43.6; P = 0.001). No significant difference in surgical outcome between the 2 techniques with respect to postoperative lower-esophageal sphincter pressure or postoperative dysphagia score was observed.


Heller Myotomy plus Dor Fundoplication was superior to Heller myotomy alone in regard to the incidence of postoperative GER.

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