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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2006 February;61(1):9-15


language: English

Surgical therapy for patients with extraesophageal symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease

Bresadola V., Dado G., Favero A., Terrosu G., Barriga Sainz M., Bresadola F.

Department of General Surgery University of Udine, Udine, Italy


Aim. The last 20 years have seen a systematic reappraisal of the physiopathology and diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and its associated typical symptoms, while less attention has been paid to correlating GERD with certain extraesophageal symptoms and the value of surgery for their treatment. The aim of this study was to determine the clinical and physiopathological features and the outcome of surgery, in a group of patients who underwent laparoscopic fundoplication for GERD with atypical symptoms, and to compare the results with another group of patients operated for GERD with typical symptoms.
Methods. Two hundred and forty-one patients were evaluated for GERD at our Digestive Physiopathology outpatients surgery from January 2001 to January 2003. Of the 36 patients who underwent laparoscopic fundoplication, 23 had the typical symptoms of GERD and 13 had atypical symptoms. Twelve months after surgery, these patients were compared in terms of 24-h pH monitoring, esophageal manometry, regression of symptoms and degree of satisfaction.
Results. Postoperatively, patients with atypical symptoms had a smaller increase in effective peristalsis (P=0.06) and a more limited improvement in symptoms (54% vs 91%, P=0.001), and they expressed less satisfaction with the surgical treatment (5.9 vs 8.2, P=0.003).
Conclusion. The results of surgery in GERD patients with atypical symptoms are worse than in those with typical symptoms. A careful preoperative work-up, based on 24-h pH monitoring, is fundamental for patients with atypical symptoms, who also need to be informed of the high likelihood of surgery proving clinically unsuccessful.

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