Postoperative Gastrointestinal Complaints After Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication

Minimally Invasive Surgery Center, Department of Surgery, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare and Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60201, USA.
JSLS: Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons / Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (Impact Factor: 0.91). 03/2006; 10(1):39-42.
Source: PubMed


Approximately 80% of patients complain of various symptoms immediately after laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication. These symptoms typically are treated medically without an extensive evaluation to identify the cause. We reviewed our experience of laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication to determine the course of postoperative symptomatology in our patient population, and present a rational approach to this problem.
Over a 10-year period, 628 patients underwent primary laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication for gastroesophageal reflux disease; patients were evaluated with a standard set of questions for postoperative gastrointestinal complaints. Three- and 6-month follow-up data were compared by using the chi square test.
One-year follow-up data were available for 615 patients (98%). All of these patients had symptoms during the first 3 postoperative months. Early satiety (88%), bloating/flatulence (64%), and dysphagia (34%) were the most common; however, 94% of patients had resolution of their symptoms by the 1-year follow-up visit, and most had resolved after 3 months. Patients with persistent reflux or dysphagia after 3 months typically had an anatomic failure of the operation.
Most patients who have undergone laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication for gastroesophageal reflux disease will have gastrointestinal complaints during the initial 3 postoperative months. Nearly all of these patients will have resolved their symptomatology after 3 months. Those with persistent symptoms after 3 months warrant evaluation for operative failure.

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