Background: Because it has been suggested that obesity adversely affects the outcome of LARS, it is unclear how surgeons should counsel obese patients referred for antireflux surgery.
Methods: A prospective database of patients undergoing LARS from 1992 to 2001 was used to compare obese and nonobese patients. Patients were surveyed preoperatively and annually thereafter. Questionnaires were completed regarding global symptoms and overall satisfaction.
Results: Of the 505 patients, the body mass index (BMI) was <25 (normal) in 16%, 25-29 (overweight) in 42%, and >30 (obese) in 42%. Although the operative time was longer in the obese group than in the normal weight group (137 +/- 55 min vs 115 +/- 42 min, p = 0.003), the time to discharge and rate of complications did not differ. At a mean follow-up of 35 +/- 25 months, there were no differences in symptoms, overall improvement, or patient satisfaction. Further, the rates of anatomic failure were similar among the obese, overweight, and normal weight groups.
Conclusions: Although the operative time is longer in the obese, complication and anatomic failure rates are similar to those in the nonobese at long-term follow-up. Obese patients have equivalent symptom relief and are equally satisfied postoperatively. Therefore, obesity should not be a contraindication to LARS.