Background and aims: The purpose of this study was to determine whether esophageal dysmotility affects symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease or clinical outcome after laparoscopic fundoplication and whether esophagus motor function changes postoperatively.
Methods: Two hundred patients with a history of long-standing gastroesophageal reflux disease were investigated by clinical assessment, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, esophageal manometry, and 24-hour pH monitoring between May 1999 and May 2000. Patients were stratified according to presence or absence of esophageal dysmotility (each n = 100) and randomized to either 360 degrees (Nissen) or 270 degrees (Toupet) fundoplication. At a 4-month postoperative follow-up, preoperative tests were repeated.
Results: Preoperative esophageal dysmotility was associated with more severe reflux symptoms, more frequent resistance to medical treatment (64% vs. 49%; P < 0.05), and greater decrease in lower esophageal sphincter pressure (9.5 +/- 5.3 vs. 12.4 +/- 6.7 mm Hg; P < 0.0005) compared with normal motility. Postoperatively, clinical outcome and reflux recurrence (21% vs. 14%) were similar. Esophageal motility remained unchanged in 85% of patients and changed from pathologic to normal in 20 (10 Nissen/10 Toupet) and vice versa in 9 (8 Nissen/1 Toupet) patients.
Conclusions: Esophageal dysmotility (1) reflects more severe disease; (2) does not affect postoperative clinical outcome; (3) is not corrected by fundoplication, independent of the surgical procedure performed; (4) may occur as a result of fundoplication; and (5) requires no tailoring of surgical management.