Hypothesis: Laparoscopic Heller myotomy with anterior fundoplication will alleviate the symptoms of achalasia and result in excellent patient satisfaction. Design: Retrospective study of consecutive patients who underwent laparoscopic Heller myotomy with anterior fundoplication for achalasia between October 1995 and July 1999. A telephone survey assessed symptoms and satisfaction. Patients were asked to quantitate their symptoms on a scale of 0 to 3 (0 = none; 1, mild; 2, moderate; and 3, severe). Setting: University referral center. Patients: Twenty-four patients who underwent laparoscopic Heller myotomy with anterior fundoplication for achalasia. Main Outcome Measures: Postoperative symptoms and satisfaction. Results: Twenty-one patients (88%) were successfully contacted. Mean follow-up was 16.5 months. The laparoscopic approach was successful in all but 3(88%). The mean dysphagia score was 2.81 preoperatively and 0.81 postoperatively (P<.000). The mean chest pain score was 1.57 preoperatively and 0.86 postoperatively (P<.015). The mean supine regurgitation score was 2.10 preoperatively and 0.57 postoperatively (P<.000). The mean upright regurgitation score was 1.57 preoperatively and 0.52 postoperatively (P<.000). The mean heartburn score was 1.57 preoperatively and 0.57 postoperatively (P<.000). Postoperatively, 18 (86%) of 21 patients could swallow bread without difficulty and 17 (89%) of 19 patients could eat meat without difficulty (2 were excluded as they were vegetarians). Twenty (95%) of 21 patients reported improvement after the operation. Conclusions: Laparoscopic Heller myotomy with anterior fundoplication significantly relieves the symptoms of achalasia without causing the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. This procedure results in excellent overall patient satisfaction.
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