Background: Laparoscopic fundoplication has become the standard of care for the management of symptomatic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). Although atypical and respiratory symptoms are frequently described in standard texts in association with reflux, the response of respiratory symptoms to management of GORD has not been extensively studied.
Methods: Herein is reported a prospective series of 29 patients who presented with predominantly respiratory symptoms. Typical and respiratory symptoms were graded according to a standard scale. All patients had preoperative investigations confirming GORD. These patients were treated by a laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication and followed up for a minimum of 14 months (range: 14-48 months). Patients were contacted and interviewed by an independent observer.
Results: Conversion to open surgery was necessary in three patients. There were four significant complications. Ultimately control of typical reflux symptoms was achieved in 88%. Cough was completely relieved in 81% and improved in a further 13%. Wheeze and nocturnal bronchospasm was completely relieved in 50% and improved in the balance. Dysphagia remains a significant problem, with only 42% of patients completely free of trouble.
Conclusions: Overall the respiratory symptoms were improved in the majority of patients, with cough responding somewhat better than wheeze. Appropriate patient selection remains the greatest challenge when a patient with cough or wheeze that is considered to be due to GORD is referred for surgery.