Impact of Nissen fundoplication on laryngopharyngeal reflux symptoms

Am Surg. 2011 Jul;77(7):878-82. doi: 10.1177/000313481107700723.


The reliability of Nissen fundoplication for the successful treatment of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) symptoms remains in question. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect that antireflux surgery has on a variety of LPR symptoms as well as the patient's perceived success of surgical intervention. A retrospective review of all antireflux surgeries between 1998 and 2008 provided a patient base for a survey in which patients ranked pre- and postoperative LPR symptoms in addition to patient satisfaction with the outcome. Of the 611 patients identified and sent the evaluation forms, 244 responses (40%) were obtained. The percentage of patients with symptom improvement after surgery were: heartburn (90.1%), regurgitation (92.6%), voice fatigue (75.2%), chronic cough (76.3%), choking episodes (83.1%), sore throat (82.9%), lump in throat (77.4%), repetitive throat clearing (72.8%), and adult-onset asthma (59.6%). Twenty per cent with repetitive throat clearing and 30 per cent with adult-onset asthma had no improvement in symptoms. Eighty-one per cent considered surgery to be a success. Comparison of those who claimed the operation was successful with those who claimed it was not revealed no difference in demographics, primary diagnosis, procedure type, or reflux symptom index score. There was a statistically significant difference in patient-perceived outcome according to the length of time since surgery. More than 88 per cent in the "not successful" group had an operation greater than 4 years prior as compared with only 70 per cent in the "successful" group (P = 0.020). Nissen fundoplication is an effective treatment for most LPR symptoms, although patients with adult-onset asthma and repetitive throat clearing appear to benefit least from surgical intervention.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fundoplication / methods*
  • Humans
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux / diagnosis*
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome