Introduction: Magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) is an effective treatment for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease. In early studies, patients with a hiatal hernia (HH) ≥ 3 cm were excluded from consideration for implantation and initially the FDA considered its use as "precautionary" in this context. This early approach has led to an attitude of hesitance among some surgeons to offer this therapy to patients with HH. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of HH status on the outcome of MSA and to report the rate of HH recurrence after MSA.
Methods and procedures: This is a retrospective review of prospectively collected data of patients who underwent MSA between June 2013 and August 2017. Baseline clinical and objective data were collected. Patients were divided into four groups based on HH status: no HH, small HH (< 3 cm), large HH (≥ 3 cm), and paraesophageal hernia (PEH). Patient satisfaction, GERD-HRQL and RSI data, freedom from PPI, need for postoperative dilation, length of hospitalization, 90-day readmission rate, need for device removal, and HH recurrence was compared between groups.
Results: There were 350 patients [60% female, mean (SD) age: 53.5 (13.8)] who underwent MSA. There were 65 (18.6%) with no HH, 205 (58.6%) with small HH (< 3 cm), 58 (16.6%) with large HH (≥ 3 cm) and 22 (6.2%) with PEH. At a mean follow-up of 13.6 (10.4) months, the rate of outcome satisfaction was similar between the groups (86%, 87.9%, 92.2% and 93.8%, p = 0.72). This was also true for GERD-HRQL total score clinical improvement (79.1%, 77.8%, 82% and 87.5%, p = 0.77). The rate of postoperative dysphagia (p = 0.33) and freedom from PPIs (p = 0.96) were similar among the four groups. Duration of hospitalization was higher among those with a large HH or PEH, and only PEH patients had a higher 90-day readmission rate (p = 0.0004). There was no difference between the need for dilation among groups (p = 0.13). The need for device removal (5% overall) was similar between the four groups (p = 0.28). HH recurrence was 10% in all groups combined, and only 7 of 240 (2.9%) patients required reoperation; the majority of these patients underwent a minimal dissection approach (no hernia repair) at the index operation. The incidence of recurrent HH increased in direct correlation with the preoperative HH size (0%, 10.1%, 16.6 and 20%, p = 0.032).
Conclusion: In the largest series of MSA implantation, we demonstrate that the excellent outcomes and high degree of satisfaction after MSA are independent of the presence or size of HH. Despite higher rates of hernia recurrence in large HH and PEH patients, the rates of postoperative endoscopic intervention, and device removal is similar to those with no or small HH. The minimal dissection approach to MSA should be abandoned.
Keywords: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); Hiatal hernia; Magnetic sphincter augmentation.
Conflict of interest statement
Dr. Blair A. Jobe is on the scientific advisory board of Johnson and Johnson and Medtronic and receives consulting fee. Drs. Shahin Ayazi, Nobel Chowdhury, Ali H. Zaidi, Kristy Chovanec, Yoshihiro Komatsu, Ashten N. Omstead, Ping Zheng and Toshitaka Hoppo have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.
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