Background: Laparoscopic fundoplication effectively controls symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and decreases acid reflux, but its impact on non-acid reflux is not known. The aim of the study was to characterize reflux events after fundoplication using oesophageal combined multichannel intraluminal impedance (MII)-pH monitoring, to demonstrate its efficacy on acid as well as non-acid reflux events.
Methods: Thirty-six patients in whom ambulatory MII-pH recording was performed after laparoscopic fundoplication were reviewed retrospectively. There were 23 symptomatic and 13 asymptomatic patients, whose results were compared with those of 72 healthy volunteers.
Results: Oesophageal acid exposure was low in all but one operated patient, and there was no difference between those with and without symptoms. The median number of reflux events over 24 h was lower after fundoplication (11 in operated patients compared with 44 in healthy volunteers; P < 0.001). Almost all reflux events were non-acid after surgery whereas acid reflux episodes were predominant in healthy volunteers. Proximal reflux events were less common in operated patients. Non-acid reflux events were significantly associated with symptoms after surgery in some patients.
Conclusion: Fundoplication restores a competent barrier for all types of reflux. Reflux events are mostly non-acid after surgery, and such events may be positively correlated with symptoms.
Copyright 2006 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.