Do recurrences after paraesophageal hernia repair matter?
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The recurrence rate for paraesophageal hernias (PEH) can be as high as 30% following laparoscopic repair. The aim of this study was to determine the severity of symptoms in patients with recurrences and the need for reoperation 10 years after surgery.
Methods and Procedures
Consecutive laparoscopic paraesophageal cases performed at a single institution between 1993 and 1996 were identified from the institution’s foregut database. Patients were asked about the presence and severity of symptoms (heartburn, chest pain, regurgitation, and dysphagia). Patients were also asked whether they had (1) been diagnosed with hernia recurrence or (2) undergone repeat surgical intervention.
Complete follow-up was obtainable in 31 of the total of 52 patients (60%). The proportion of patients reporting moderate/severe symptoms was less at 10 years than preoperatively: heartburn 12% versus 54% (p < 0.001), chest pain 9% versus 36% (p = 0.01), regurgitation 6% versus 50% (p < 0.001), and dysphagia 3% versus 30% (p = 0.001). Two patients underwent repeat surgical intervention for symptomatic recurrences within the first postoperative year. Eight more patients have been diagnosed with hernia recurrences on either contrast esophagram or upper endoscopy but had not required reoperation. At ten years, more patients with hernia recurrence had heartburn than those who did not have recurrences (60% versus 14%; p < 0.05).
Despite a hiatal hernia recurrence rate of 32% 10 years after surgery, laparoscopic PEH was a successful procedure in the majority of patients; most remained symptomatically improved and required no further intervention 10 years after surgery.
KeywordsParaesophageal hernia hernia recurrence laparoscopic hernia repair
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