Management of esophageal symptoms following fundoplication

Gregory S. Sayuk, Ray E. Clouse

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Scopus citations


Laparoscopic antireflux surgery has emerged as a widely used and effective management option for the properly selected patient with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Poor symptomatic outcomes occur even in the best of hands, the most common being recurrent or persistent heartburn (or atypical symptoms) and dysphagia. When heartburn predominates, the initial management step is an anatomical and physiologic evaluation to determine whether acid reflux is controlled and if the postoperative neoanatomy is appropriate. If anatomical evaluation indicates surgical failure (eg, slipped or loose fundoplication, recurrent hiatal hernia), earlier re-operation may be warranted. Objective evidence of ongoing acid reflux or a reflux-symptom association despite anatomical integrity indicates reintroduction of antireflux medical therapy. Evidence favoring physiologic and anatomical success should direct treatment toward functional heartburn, including the use of tricyclic antidepressants. Dysphagia in the immediate postoperative setting mandates reassurance, as conservative measures alone often suffice white postoperative changes resolve. With persistent dysphagia, anatomical and physiologic evaluation is again indicated in the search for a mechanical-, motility-, or reflux-related symptom basis. Dilation techniques can prevent the need for re-operation, but persistent dysphagia associated with distorted postoperative anatomy will likely require surgical intervention. Regardless of the indication, re-operation carries substantial morbidity and reduced success rates compared with the initial procedure. These procedures mandate careful patient selection and referral to a center with thorough surgical experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-303
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Gastroenterology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2005

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