Total fundoplication is the operation of choice for patients with gastroesophageal reflux and defective peristalsis

  • D. Oleynikov
  • T. R. Eubanks
  • B. K. Oelschlager
  • C. A. Pellegrini
Original Articles



Partial fundoplication has traditionally been indicated for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) who have defective peristalsis (DP). Because partial fundoplication had been reported to be a less effective means of controlling acid reflux than total fundoplication, in 1997 we stopped performing partial fundoplication for patients with DP and switched to a floppy total fundoplication. This study analyzes the results of our new strategy and compares it to our former approach.


We performed a partial fundoplication in 39 patients with DP (distal amplitude>40% of swallows) between 1994 and 1997 and a total fundoplication in 57 patients between 1997 and 2000. Symptoms scores derived from a standard questionnaire with a scale of 0–4, manometry, and 24-h pH monitoring were completed preoperatively in 86 patients and postoperatively in 40 patients.


Heartburn scores improved in both groups (preoperative, 2.8; postoperative, 0.65; p<0.05). Dysphagia was 1.1 preoperatively and 0.62 postoperatively (p=NS) in the partial fundoplication group and 1.2 preoperatively and 0.3 postoperatively (p<0.05) in the total fundoplication group. Furthermore, none of the patients in the total fundoplication group developed new dysphagia and none required dilatation. Distal esophageal acid exposure normalized in both groups after operative treatment (median DeMeester score: 72.3 vs 11.3, p<0.05, For partial fundoplication; 57.1 vs 6.3, p<0.05, For total fundoplication). Distal esophageal amplitudes averaged 27.8 mmHg preoperatively and 35.6 mmHg (p=NS) in the partial fundoplication group, they averaged 28.2 mmHg preoperatively vs 49.0 mmHg postoperatively (p<0.005) in the total fundoplication group. Two patients with a previous partial fundoplication required a conversion to a total fundoplication. No postoperative dilation was required in either group.


Our study shows that both a partial and a total fundoplication are effective in controlling the symptoms of GERD in patients with defective peristalsis. Dysphagia improves significantly after total fundoplication but not after partial fundoplication. Although both operations brought acid reflux to within normal limits, the effect was more pronounced with total fundoplication. Total, but not partial, fundoplication produced a significant increase in amplitude of esophageal peristalsis, which may explain the subjective improvement during deglution. Therefore, fundoplication should be the treatment of choice in patients with GERD and defective peristalsis.

Key words

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) Total fundoplication Partial fundoplication Toupet fundoplication Dysphagia Esophageal motility Defective peristalsis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Oleynikov
    • 1
  • T. R. Eubanks
    • 1
  • B. K. Oelschlager
    • 1
  • C. A. Pellegrini
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Washington School of MedicineSeattleUSA

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