Esophagectomy after anti-reflux surgery

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2010 Apr;139(4):969-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2009.12.003.


Objective: There are few data on whether prior fundoplication has an impact on subsequent esophageal resection and reconstruction. The aim of this study is to review our experience with patients undergoing esophagectomy after previous fundoplication.

Methods: Medical records were reviewed of all patients undergoing esophageal resection from 1988 to 2008 at the Mayo Clinic. Patients with a fundoplication before esophagectomy were compared with a matched control group who had esophagectomy alone.

Results: There were 2313 esophageal resections, and 80 patients had undergone at least 1 previous anti-reflux surgery. Indications for esophagectomy were benign stricture/perforation in 41 patients, cancer in 28 patients, and dysplasia in 11 patients. The surgical approach was Ivor Lewis in 38 patients, left thoracoabdominal in 29 patients, transhiatal in 10 patients, and McKeown in 3 patients. The conduit used was stomach in 70 patients, jejunum in 6 patients, and colon in 3 patients; 1 patient had a diversion and cervical esophagostomy only. Operative mortality occurred in 3 patients (3.7%). Postoperative complications occurred in 50 patients (62.5%), including anastomotic leak in 17 (21.5%). Sixteen patients (20%) required reoperation for complications. Complication, anastomotic leak, and reoperation rates were significantly higher in patients with anti-reflux surgery before esophagectomy compared with matched controls.

Conclusion: Esophagectomy after prior anti-reflux surgery is challenging, but the stomach is usually a suitable conduit for esophageal replacement. Patients with a history of anti-reflux surgery who undergo esophagectomy are at significantly increased risk for postoperative complications, anastomotic leak, and need for reoperation.

MeSH terms

  • Esophageal Diseases / surgery*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Esophageal Stenosis / surgery
  • Esophagectomy*
  • Female
  • Fundoplication*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / surgery*
  • Hernia, Hiatal / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stomach / transplantation
  • Treatment Outcome