Objectives: We studied the long-term outcomes of laparoscopic antireflux surgery (LARS) and the factors that determine it, as neither has been previously well established.
Methods: From September 1993 (start of our program) to September 1999, 441 patients underwent LARS. Preoperative symptoms and the results of esophageal functional studies as well as details of the operation and follow-up were recorded prospectively in our database. In 2004, with the help of a private investigator, we were able to contact 288 (65%). There were no differences in presentation profiles of those patients contacted and those we could not.
Results: At a median follow-up of 69 months, individual symptoms, among those who had it preoperatively, were as follows: heartburn (N = 282) improved in 254 (90%) and resolved in 188 (67%); regurgitation (N = 258) improved in 238 (92%) and resolved 199 (70%); dysphagia (N = 123) improved in 96 (78%) and resolved in 76 (62%); cough (N = 119) improved in 82 (69%) and resolved in 48 (40%); and hoarseness (N = 106) improved in 73 (69%) and resolved in 50 (47%). Univariate regression analysis showed that the presence of heartburn (P= 0.02), male gender (P= 0.03), and younger age (P= 0.04) predicted symptom resolution, whereas preoperative dysphagia (P= 0.03), airway manifestations (P= 0.03), bloating (P= 0.04), and defective esophageal motility (P= 0.08) were negative predictive factors. By multivariate analysis, male gender, dysphagia, and age remained significant (P < 0.05). Seven patients (2%) developed a new onset of dysphagia; 32 patients (11%) developed new or increased diarrhea and 27 patients (9%) developed bloating postoperatively. One hundred nineteen patients (41%) were taking some form of antacid medication; 66 (23%) patients were using PPIs and 10 (3%) had undergone reoperation.
Conclusion: LARS provides effective long-term relief of GERD. Younger patients, men, and those without dysphagia are predictors of superior outcomes.