Background: Of patients with chronic cough, 21% have GERD. Up to half of these patients may not respond adequately to medical, but the long-term results of antireflux surgery for cough is unknown.
Methods: A total of 905 patients (209 with respiratory symptoms, mainly cough) underwent laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication. Preoperatively patients underwent esophageal motility studies, 24-h pH monitoring, and symptom evaluation using a validated scale. Of eligible patients, 81% were followed at 6 months, 73% at 2 years, and 60% at 5 years.
Results: Before surgery, 83% of respiratory patients (RP) and 51% of nonrespiratory patients (NRP) had cough. RP had higher cough scores ( p < 0.0001), but improvement in cough compared to baseline was similar in the RP and NRP ( p = 0.1105 at 6 months, 0.4206 at 2 years, and 0.1348 at 5 years). Cough improved in 83% at 6 months, 74% at 2 years, and 71% at 5 years.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication is successful in the long-term control of GERD-related cough, even in patients who fail medical therapy.