Background: Obesity has long been considered to be a predisposing factor for gastroesophageal reflux. It is also thought to predispose patients to a poorer clinical outcome following antireflux surgery. This study examined the effect of body mass index (BMI) on clinical outcomes following laparoscopic antireflux surgery.
Methods: Patients were included if they had undergone a laparoscopic fundoplication, their presurgical BMI was known, and they had been followed for at least 12 months after surgery. The clinical outcome was determined using a structured questionnaire, and this was applied yearly after surgery. Patients were divided into four groups according to BMI: normal weight (BMI < 25), overweight (BMI 25-29.9), obese (BMI 30-34.9), and morbidly obese (BMI > or = 35). The most recent clinical outcome data was analyzed for each BMI group.
Results: Patients, 481, were studied. One hundred three (21%) had a normal BMI, 208 (43%) were overweight, 115 (24%) were obese, and 55 (12%) were morbidly obese. Mean follow-up was 7.5 years. Conversion to an open operation and requirement for revision surgery were not influenced by preoperative weight. Operating time was longer in obese patients (mean 86 vs 75 min). Clinical outcomes improved following surgery regardless of BMI.
Conclusions: Preoperative BMI does not influence the clinical outcome following laparoscopic antireflux surgery. Obesity is not a contraindication for laparoscopic fundoplication.