Introduction: Comparison of elective laparoscopic repair of axial vs paraesophageal hiatal hernias reveals relevant differences in both the patient collectives and the complexity of the procedures.
Materials and methods: The present uni- and multivariable analysis of data from the Herniamed Registry compares the outcome for 2047 (67.3%) (type I) axial with 996 (32.7%) (types II-IV) paraesophageal primary hiatal hernias following laparoscopic repair.
Results: Compared with the patients with axial hiatal hernias, patients with paraesophageal hiatal hernia were nine years older, had a higher ASA score (ASA III/IV: 34.8 vs 13.7%; p < 0.001), and more often at least one risk factor (38.8 vs 21.4%; p < 0.001). This led in the univariable analysis to significantly more general postoperative complications (6.0 vs 3.0%; p < 0.001). Reflecting the greater complexity of the procedures used for laparoscopic repair of paraesophageal hiatal hernias, significantly higher intraoperative organ injury rates (3.7 vs 2.3%; p = 0.033) and higher postoperative complication-related reoperation rates (2.1 vs 1.1%; p = 0.032) were identified. Univariable analysis did not reveal any significant differences in the recurrence and pain rates on one-year follow-up. Multivariable analysis did not find any evidence that the use of a mesh had a significant influence on the recurrence rate.
Conclusion: Surgical repair of paraesophageal hiatal hernia calls for an experienced surgeon as well as for corresponding intensive medicine competence because of the higher risks of general and surgical postoperative complications.
Keywords: Axial hiatal hernia; Fundoplication; Hiatal hernia; Hiatoplasty; Paraesophageal hiatal hernia.