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February 1992

Primary Treatment of Esophageal Achalasia: Long-term Results of Myotomy and Dor Fundoplication

Author Affiliations

From the First Department of Surgery, University of Padua (Italy) Medical School.

Arch Surg. 1992;127(2):222-227. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1992.01420020112016

• From 1976 to 1989, 206 patients referred for primary treatment of esophageal achalasia underwent transabdominal Heller's myotomy and anterior fundoplication according to the Dor technique. In the majority of the patients, the cardia was not mobilized, and the myotomy was extended in length for about 10 cm (8 cm on the esophagus and 2 cm on the stomach). There was no operative mortality. Two patients (0.9%) required reoperation due to bleeding from the myotomy site in one and leakage from the gastrotomy site in the other. One hundred ninety-three patients entered the follow-up study and were followed up from 12 to 144 months (median, 64.5 months). Five patients died during the follow-up of unrelated diseases, and in one patient, an esophageal cancer infiltrating the trachea was discovered 26 months after the operation. Clinical results were excellent or good in 93.8% of the patients, and fair in 2.6%. Disabling dysphagia recurred in seven patients (3.6%), six of whom required pneumatic dilation for relief and one patient who underwent reoperation because of a paraesophageal hiatal hernia. Postoperative roentgenographic studies showed a significant reduction in the mean value of the maximal esophageal diameter. Esophageal manometry showed a significant reduction of lower esophageal sphincter pressure and length over preoperative values. Twenty-four—hour esophageal pH monitoring showed an abnormal acid exposure in seven (8.6%) of 81 patients tested. Of these patients, one had erosive esophagitis on endoscopy. Esophageal transit scintigraphy, performed in 11 patients, showed a significant improvement of transit time in the erect position compared with preoperative values. We concluded that transabdominal esophagomyotomy combined with Dor fundoplication is a safe, effective, and durable procedure in the treatment of esophageal achalasia.

(Arch Surg. 1992;127:222-227)

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