Austrian experiences with redo antireflux surgery

  • H. WykypielEmail author
  • T. Kamolz
  • P. Steiner
  • A. Klingler
  • F. A. Granderath
  • R. Pointner
  • G. J. Wetscher
Original article



From 1996, the entire number of fundoplications performed in Austria increased dramatically, favoring the laparoscopic technique. Despite good results, some patients experience failure of antireflux surgery and therefore require redo surgery if medical therapy fails to control symptoms. The aim of the study was to describe the refundoplication policy in Austria with evaluation of the postoperative results.


A questionnaire was sent to all Austrian surgical departments at the beginning of 2003 with questions about redo fundoplications (number, techniques, intraoperative complications, history, migration of patients, preoperative workup, mortality, and postoperative long-term complaints). It also included questions about primary fundoplications (number, technique, postoperative symptoms).


Out of 4,504 primary fundoplications performed in Austria since 1990, 3,952 have been carried out laparoscopically. In a median of 31 months after the primary operation, 225 refundoplications have been performed, laparoscopically in the majority of patients. The Nissen and the partial posterior fundoplication were the preferred techniques. The conversion rate in these was 10.8%, mainly because of adhesions and lacerations of the spleen, the stomach, and the esophagus. The mortality rate after primary fundoplications was 0.04%, whereas the rate after refundoplications was 0.4%, all resulting from an open approach.


Laparoscopic refundoplications are widely accepted as a treatment option after failed primary antireflux surgery in Austria. However, the conversion rate is 6 times higher and the mortality rate is 10 times higher than for primary antireflux surgery. Therefore, redo fundoplications should be performed only in departments with large experience.

Key words:

Gastroesophageal reflux Surgery Complications Fundoplication Esophagitis Esophagus 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Wykypiel
    • 1
    Email author
  • T. Kamolz
    • 2
  • P. Steiner
    • 1
  • A. Klingler
    • 1
  • F. A. Granderath
    • 2
  • R. Pointner
    • 2
  • G. J. Wetscher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General and Transplant SurgeryInnsbruck Medical UniversityAustria
  2. 2.General Hospital of Zell am SeeAustria

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