Severe gastroesophageal reflux disease may result in acquired esophageal dysmotility. The correct surgical approach to associated gastroesophageal reflux disease and dysmotility is controversial, in particular whether the "gold-standard" total fundoplication of Nissen is appropriate compared with partial fundoplication. Our unit has performed total fundoplication for all patients, irrespective of esophageal motility, and this article describes that experience.
Ninety-eight patients undergoing antireflux surgery were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 (n=60) consisted of patients with normal esophageal motility, and group 2 (n=38) had dysmotility. All patients underwent preoperative and postoperative manometry, 24-hour pH testing, symptom scoring, and quality-of-life assessment.
The median postoperative acid score was not significantly different between groups 1 and 2. Eighty-eight percent of patients with normal motility and 89% of patients with dysmotility had no symptoms or minor symptoms, with a significant improvement in quality of life 6 months after surgery. There was a significant increase in esophageal wave amplitude in both groups, and 20 patients (53%) in the dysmotility group reverted to normal motility after surgery. Recurrent symptoms were associated with postoperative abnormal pH profiles in 5 patients from group 1 and 3 from group 2.
Preoperative dysmotility is not a contraindication for total fundoplication. Postoperative acid control is associated with improved esophageal clearance and symptoms.