Psychoemotional disorders (PED) and chronic pain syndromes (CPS) are common problems. Many patients with these disorders also suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is unclear how PED/CPS affect outcomes of antireflux surgery; therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if PED/CPS adversely affects the results of surgical therapy for GERD. All patients referred for surgical therapy for GERD completed both the GERD-HRQL symptom severity instrument and the SF-36 generic quality-of-life instrument prior to surgery. To be candidates for surgery, patients must have symptomatic GERD and objective evidence of pathologic reflux by upper endoscopy, esophageal manometry and 24-hour pH monitoring. Patients underwent either laparoscopic or open Nissen or Toupet fundoplication. Six to 24 months postoperatively, patients were evaluated for satisfaction and quality-of-life. Ninety-three percent of control patients compared to 25% of PED/CPS patients were satisfied with surgery (P < 0.001). Dissatisfaction in PED/CPS patients was generally due to persistent or new somatic complaints. Median total GERD-HRQL scores improved for both groups, although postoperative scores were worse in the PED/CPS group. PED/CPS patients had significantly worse SF-36 scores both preoperatively and postoperatively compared to control patients. SF-36 scores improved in four of eight domains in control patients and none in the PED/CPS patients. In conclusion, PED/CPS patients are generally dissatisfied with antireflux surgery. Although some patients do benefit from surgery, careful patient selection is required.
Copyright 2003 The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, Inc.