Effect of Preserving the Hepatic Vagal Nerve During Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication on Postoperative Biliary Functions
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Cutting the hepatic branch of the anterior vagus nerve (HB-AVn) technically facilitates the laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of preserving or sacrificing this branch on postoperative gallbladder functions.
The patients (n = 40) were prospectively randomized into two groups. The HB-AVn was preserved during the dissection of the lesser omentum in the first group. The nerve was cut in the second group. Postoperative fasting gallbladder volumes were calculated by ultrasonography. Postoperative gallbladder ejection fraction (GEF) and gallbladder emptying time (GET) were determined by calculating intestinal transit time scintigraphically.
Fasting gallbladder volumes and GEF values were not different between the groups. On the other hand, in patients with HB-AVn preserved, GET measurements were found to be significantly shorter than those with HB-AVn sacrificed.
Sacrificing the hepatic branch causes prolongation in the GET. This change in the motor functions of the gallbladder does not cause any symptomatic effect during the early postoperative period. However, the delay in the GET may increase the risk of gallbladder stone formation in the long term.
KeywordsIntestinal Transit Time Truncal Vagotomy Gallbladder Volume Hepatic Branch Gallbladder Function
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