Results after Laparoscopic Fundoplication: Does Age Matter?

Cowgill, Sarah M.; Arnaoutakis, Dean; Villadolid, Desiree; Al-Saadi, Sam; Arnaoutakis, Demetri; Molloy, Daniel L.; Thomas, Ashley; Rakita, Steven; Rosemurgy II, Alexander
September 2006
American Surgeon;Sep2006, Vol. 72 Issue 9, p778
Academic Journal
Antireflux fundoplications are undertaken with hesitation in older patients because of presumed higher morbidity and poorer outcomes. This study was undertaken to determine if symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) could be safely abrogated in a high-risk/reward population of older patients. One hundred eight patients more than 70 years of age (range, 70-90 years) underwent laparoscopic Nissen fundoplications undertaken between 1992 and 2005 and were compared with 108 concurrent patients less than 60 years of age (range, 18-59 years) to determine relative outcomes. Before and after fundoplication, patients scored the severity of reflux and dysphagia on a Likert Scale (0 = minor, 10 = severe). Before fundoplication, older patients had lower reflux scores (P < 0.01), but not lower dysphagia scores or DeMeester scores. One patient (86 years old) died from myocardial infarction; otherwise, complications occurred infrequently, inconsequentially, and regardless of age. At similar durations of follow-up, reflux and dysphagia scores significantly improved (P < 0.01) for older and younger patients. After fundoplication, older patients had lower dysphagia scores (P < 0.01) and lower reflux scores (P < 0.01). At the most recent follow-up, 82 per cent of older patients rated their relief of symptoms as good or excellent. Similarly, 81 per cent of the younger patients reported good or excellent results. Ninety-one per cent of patients 70 years of age or more versus 85 per cent of patients less than 60 years would undergo laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication again, if necessary. With fundoplication, symptoms of GERD improve for older and younger patients, with less symptomatic dysphagia and reflux in older patients after fundoplication. Laparoscopic fundoplication safely ameliorates symptoms of GERD in elderly patients with symptomatic outcomes superior to those seen in younger patients.


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