360° laparoscopic fundoplication with tension-free hiatoplasty in the treatment of symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease
Background: Since laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication was first described by Cuschieri in 1989 and later by Dallemagne in 1991, this procedure has been widely employed for the treatment of symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and/or hiatal hernia. However, a relatively high incidence (7–11%) of intrathoracic Nissen valve migration/paraesophageal hernia following laparoscopic fundoplication has recently been reported.
Methods: Between November 1992 and August 1995, 65 consecutive patients with severe GERD and/or hiatal hernia underwent laparoscopic 360° fundoplication. In nine of these 65 (13.8%) patients, an intrathoracic Nissen valve migration had occurred within 4 months. Six of these patients were symptomatic and were again submitted to the laparoscopic intervention. Videotapes of both the first and second operation were reviewed. In all cases, it was apparent that, at the first operation, closure by stitches of the hiatus was under tension, and at the second operation, the muscle fibers of the right crus were disrupted, probably due to the tension between the suture margins during the inspiratory movements of the diaphragm. These findings prompted us to perform an effective tension-free closure of the hiatus. A polypropylene mesh (3 × 4 cm) was placed on the hiatus behind the esophagus and fixed with eight metallic agraphes (2 + 2 on the superior edge and 2 + 2 on the lateral sides of the right and left cruses).
Results: Between August 1995 and February 1998, the technique, complete with 360° fundoplication, was used for 67 patients with GERD. At mean follow-up of 22.5 months (range, 1–30), there was no evidence of postoperative paraesophageal hernia or complications related to the use of the mesh.
Conclusions: This tension-free hiatoplasty seems to be an effective solution to prevent postoperative paraesophageal hernia in patients undergoing antireflux laparoscopic surgery. However, longer follow-up is still needed.
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