[Causes of conversion in laparoscopic surgery for gastroesophageal reflux disease: an analysis of our experience]

Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2008 May;100(5):263-7. doi: 10.4321/s1130-01082008000500003.
[Article in Spanish]


Background: since its introduction in 1991 laparoscopic antireflux surgery has gained great success and popularity among surgeons, and now it is the gold standard for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Aim: to identify and evaluate the causes of conversion in the laparoscopic surgery of GERD and hiatus hernia.

Material and methods: since January 1993 to August 2007 606 laparoscopic antireflux procedures were performed in our hospital. There were 296 women and 310 men with a median age of 53.5 years. The main indication for surgery was evidence of intractable or recurrent GERD symptoms after adequate medical treatment with associated hiatal hernia. The preoperative workup included manometry, pH-metry, oral endoscopy, and barium swallow. The surgical technique was mainly the Nissen-Rossetti procedure.

Results: mean postoperative hospital stay was 2.7 days. The operation had to be converted to an open procedure in 43 cases (7%). Conversions were more frequent in the first decade of the learning curve (26 vs. 17, p < 0.016), and fewer among the group of experts in advanced laparoscopic surgery (15 vs. 28, p < 0.017). In 17 cases conversions were due to an intraoperative complication whereas in 26 cases a conversion was done because of technical difficulties. Esophageal perforation and pneumothorax rates were 0.8 and 1%, respectively, and mortality and morbidity rates were 0.1 and 12%.

Conclusion: the rate of conversion is acceptable and significantly decreases with surgeon experience.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / surgery*
  • Hernia, Hiatal / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies