A Preliminary Investigation of Laparoscopic Fundoplication Treatment on Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease-related Respiratory Symptoms

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Background:Extraesophageal syndromes are more difficult to identify and treat than the usual esophageal symptoms. The current study explores the efficacy of laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication (LNF) on gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)-related respiratory symptoms (RSs) during a 12-month follow-up observation.Methods:From April 2008 to September 2009, LNF was performed on 198 patients (107 men and 91 women) with GERD-related RSs according to underlying esophageal motility. A questionnaire form ranging from 0 to 5 was the basic requirement for recording pretreatment and posttreatment and for making detailed evaluation of the symptoms. All scores of GERD-related RSs, such as heartburn, regurgitation, coughing, breathe holding, wheezing, shortness of breath, and choking, significantly decreased at the 12th month.Results:All the patients who participated in the current study were adults and elders aged 22 to 84 years with a mean age of 49±12.89. The median length of stay was 4.3 days with a range of 2 to 8 days. The median score of heartburn, regurgitation, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, choking, and chest pain decreased from 4.92±1.99, 4.98±1.81, 7.23±1.87, 7.50±1.88, 5.83±2.13, 5.94±2.22, and 4.92±1.88 to 1.62±2.33, 0.64±1.43, 2.79±2.82, 2.53±2.96, 1.37±2.10, 1.28±2.09, and 1.57±2.55 (P<0.01), respectively. A total of 173 patients had various relieved symptom scores, 16 patients (8.1%) had different scale recurrence of symptoms after laparoscopic fundoplication treatment, and 13 patients had to retreat to omeprazole as an auxiliary medical therapy. Three other patients rejected any therapy, and no deaths occurred. A single patient converted from laparoscopic surgery to open surgery. Several short-term symptoms included retrosternal uneasiness or pain (n=63; 31.8%), dysphagia (n=45; 22.7%), abdominal distension (n=87; 43.9%), and diarrhea (n=23; 11.6%). Early dysphagia lasting <6 weeks was common, and 45 patients (22.7%) underwent an early esophagogastroduodenoscopy or contrast swallow. Five patients (2.5%) who had prolonged dysphagia during the 6-month clinical review required esophageal dilatation, and the outcomes were successful.Conclusions:LNF can be an effective means for treating RSs in patients with GERD.

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