Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Patients With Postfundoplication Dysphagia

Stephen Hasak, L. Michael Brunt, Dan Wang, C. Prakash Gyawali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Dysphagia is a consequence of antireflux surgery (ARS) for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). We studied patient management and symptomatic outcomes. Methods: We performed a retrospective study of 157 consecutive adult patients with GERD (mean age, 65.1 ± 1.0 y; 72% female) who underwent ARS at a tertiary care center from 2003 through 2014. We characterized postfundoplication dysphagia using a self-reported Likert scale, which ranged from a low score of 0 (no dysphagia) to a high score of 4 (severe daily dysphagia); scores of 2 or more indicated clinically significant dysphagia. Postfundoplication dysphagia was categorized as early (≤6 wk after ARS) or late (>6 wk after ARS), and Kaplan–Meier analyses were used to assess the time to development of clinically significant dysphagia. We performed univariate and multivariate analyses to assess management response and identify factors associated with dysphagia. The primary aim was to determine the prevalence and clinical course of postfundoplication dysphagia in patients with GERD treated with ARS. Results: Of the 157 patients, 54.8% had early postfundoplication dysphagia (clinically significant in 20.4%); only 3.5% required endoscopic intervention. Over 2.1 ± 0.2 years of follow-up evaluation, 29 patients (18.5%) developed late postfundoplication dysphagia. Based on Kaplan–Meier analysis, the median time to clinically significant late postfundoplication dysphagia was 0.75 years (95% CI, 0.26–1.22). Of 13 patients (44.8%) who underwent endoscopic dilation, improvement was reported by 92.3%, with a mean decrease in dysphagia severity of 1.55 ± 0.3, based on the Likert scale. Prefundoplication dysphagia, early postfundoplication dysphagia, recurrent hiatal hernia, and lack of contraction reserve following multiple rapid swallows were univariate predictors of late postfundoplication dysphagia (P ≤.04); lack of contraction reserve was associated independently with late postfundoplication dysphagia, based on multivariate logistic regression analysis (odds ratio, 3.73; 95% CI, 1.11–12.56). Conclusions: Early and late postfundoplication dysphagia can be successfully managed conservatively or with endoscopic dilation, respectively. Lack of contraction reserve on multiple rapid swallows is associated independently with late postfundoplication dysphagia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1982-1990
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Antireflux Surgery
  • Endoscopic Dilation
  • Multiple Rapid Swallows
  • Response to Treatment


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