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January 2001

The Short Esophagus: Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Current Surgical Options

Arch Surg. 2001;136(1):113-114. doi:10.1001/archsurg.136.1.113

GASTROESOPHAGEAL reflux disease (GERD) is a common problem accounting for 75% of esophageal pathological disorders.1 Approximately 40% of adults in the United States have occasional heartburn.2 Of 1700 randomly selected adults in Finland, 10% had GERD symptoms, 16% took medication for their complaints, and 5% had sought medical assistance.3 The quality of life of patients with GERD can be as poor as that seen in people with angina or heart failure.4 Complications of GERD, such as esophagitis, stricture, or Barrett metaplasia, occur in approximately 50% of patients.5,6 In addition, between 3% and 14% of patients undergoing antireflux surgery have the so-called short esophagus.7,8

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