Dysphagia after laparoscopic antireflux surgery: The impact of operative technique

John G. Hunter, Lee Swanstrom, J. Patrick Waring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

261 Scopus citations


Background: Concerns about laparoscopic antireflux surgery include the frequent appearance of troublesome postoperative dysphagia. This study reviews the frequency of early (less than 6 weeks) and persistent (greater than 6 weeks) solid food dysphagia in patients undergoing Toupet, Rosetti- Nissen, or Nissen fundoplications. Methods: One hundred eighty-four consecutive patients with normal esophageal peristalsis undergoing laparoscopic antireflux surgery were prospectively studied. Before operation, all patients had endoscopy, 24-hour pH study, and an esophageal motility study. The choice of operation was dependent on anatomy and surgeon preference. Before discharge, all patients were given instructions on a soft diet. Postoperative symptoms were scored by the patients as absent, mild, moderate, or severe 4 weeks and 12 weeks after operation. The option of esophageal dilation was offered to patients with moderate to severe persistent solid food dysphagia. Results: New onset moderate to severe dysphagia to solid foods was present in 30 (54%), 8 (17%), and 13 (16%) patients undergoing Rosetti-Nissen, Nissen, and Toupet fundoplications, respectively, in the first month after operation (p < 0.001). Moderate to severe dysphagia persisted at 3 months in six (11%), one (2%), and two (2%) patients undergoing laparoscopic Rosetti-Hell, Nissen, and Toupet fundoplications, respectively (p < 0.05). Esophageal dilatation was performed in five (4%), zero, and one (1%) patients undergoing laparoscopic Rosetti- Nissen, Nissen, and Toupet fundoplications, respectively (p < 0.05). There was no additional morbidity related to division of short gastric vessels in patients undergoing Nissen fundoplication. Conclusions: Laparoscopic Rosetti- Nissen fundoplication is associated with a higher rate of early and persistent postoperative dysphagia than either laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication or Toupet fundoplication. Consideration of complete fundus mobilization should be a part of all laparoscopic antireflux procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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