Is a bougie required for the performance of the fundal wrap during laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication?
It has been claimed that oesophageal intubation with a bougie during laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication (LNF) reduces the risk of a tight crural repair and wrap, and thereby decreases the prevalence of post-operative dysphagia. The aim of this study is to assess the benefit of routinely inserting a bougie during LNF, in relation to post-operative dysphagia.
All patients who underwent LNF by a single surgeon between March 2005 and March 2007 were reviewed. Oesophageal intubation during surgery was routinely performed in all patients who underwent LNF during the first 11 months of the study period, whilst during the second phase, routine oesophageal intubation was not performed. The main outcome measures were the prevalence of post-operative dysphagia and complication rates. Dysphagia severity was assessed clinically by a scoring system at discharge, and again at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year.
Forty patients had a bougie inserted (group 1) and 42 had no bougie (group 2). The mean age was 49.1 (SD, standard deviation ± 8.1) years in group 1 and 49.4 (SD ± 8.4) years in group 2 (p = 0.88). There were no major complications. When assessed at 12 weeks, 60% of group 1 and 51% of group 2 patients still had some degree of dysphagia (p = 0.635) but by 1 year dysphagia had resolved in all patients (p = 1.00). There was no significant difference in the median dysphagia scores between the two groups at: discharge (p = 0.181), 6 weeks (p = 0.234), 12 weeks (p = 0.504), 24 weeks (p = 0.182) or 1 year (p = 0.530). Analysis of the progression of dysphagia over the first post-operative year using Cox regression analysis did not show any significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.375).
LNF can be safely performed without the routine use of an oesophageal bougie and this practice does not result in increased post-operative dysphagia rates.
KeywordsReflux Fundoplication Bougie Dysphagia
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