Quality of life and predictors of long-term outcome in patients undergoing open Nissen fundoplication for chronic gastroesophageal reflux.Am J Surg 2006; 191(4):470-8AJ
Long-term outcome of antireflux operations as well as pre- and postoperative parameters able to predict their clinical results are still controversial. The aim of the present study was to evaluate long-term quality of life of patients undergoing open fundoplication for chronic GERD and to investigate pre- and early postoperative functional parameters possibly related to persistence or recurrence of symptoms.
A cohort of 25 patients who underwent open Nissen fundoplications was reviewed for an evaluation of long-term residual symptoms and quality of life at an average follow-up of more than 10 years. Clinical evaluation was performed by using a symptom-specific score (DeMeester's score), 3 health-related quality of life scores, a GERD-specific (GERD-HRQL score) score, and 2 generic scores (SF-36) evaluating physical and psychological well-being. Subjective satisfaction grade of the patients was also investigated. In addition, a univariate analysis is provided, according to the long-term presence or absence of residual symptoms (120.6-month follow-up), taking into account pre- and postoperative (6-month follow-up) data of endoscopy, 24-hour pH monitoring, stationary manometry, and gastric-emptying test.
Persistence or recurrence of GERD-specific symptoms (heartburn and regurgitation) were reported by 8 patients (32%); 2 patients (8%) were reoperated on for persistent dysphagia, whereas 17 patients (68%) were asymptomatic. GERD-HRQL and SF-36 scores displayed significant postoperative improvement, which continued in long-term follow-up. Twenty patients (80%) had repeat fundoplication. Among tested parameters, only postoperative mean supine esophageal clearance and gastric emptying half-time, although on average improved significantly after the antireflux procedure, differed significantly in long-term asymptomatic and symptomatic subgroups. In long-term asymptomatic patients, postoperative (6 month) mean supine esophageal clearance was 0.8 +/- 0.3 minutes (P = .011) and 2.4 +/- 0.2 minutes in symptomatic patients. Postoperative (6 month) mean gastric emptying half-time of long-term asymptomatic patients was 93.3 +/- 8.9 minutes, whereas in symptomatic patients it was 127.5 +/- 14.3 minutes (P = .047).
Patients undergoing Nissen fundoplication had a satisfactory long-term quality of life. Clinical results did not deteriorate over time and showed to be related to postoperative esophageal clearance and gastric emptying, which could be regarded as early postoperative predictors of long-term clinical outcome.