Laparoscopic Heller Myotomy with Bolstering Partial Posterior Fundoplication for Achalasia
AbstractBackground: The ideal antireflux procedure following laparoscopic Heller myotomy for achalasia is controversial. We present a novel laparoscopic technique of partial posterior fundoplication to bolster the myotomy. Methods: Between August 1998 and March 2002, eight patients (five females and three males; median age, 40 years) underwent a laparoscopic Heller myotomy with bolstering partial posterior fundoplication. Results of barium swallow and manometry studies were consistent with achalasia. Failed medical treatments included balloon dilation, botulinum injection, and calcium channel blockers. Results: The preoperative weight loss was 33 lb (range, 10-50) with a mean duration of symptoms of 29 months (range, 12-72). Seventy-one percent of the patients had reflux. Myotomy was confirmed with endoscopic guidance. Partial posterior fundoplication was performed with the edges of the myotomy on the right and left sides sutured to the stomach, which covered the myotomy. No conversion was required. In one patient, a perforation was recognized, repaired, and bolstered. The mean operative blood loss was 72 mL (range, 30-150). The mean operative time was 4 hours. Patients resumed solids at 2.5 days (range, 2-5). Postoperative complications included subcutaneous emphysema (n = 1), pneumothorax (n = 1), and umbilical port hernia (n = 1). None of the patients had reflux symptoms at 3 to 18 months of follow-up. Conclusion: Laparoscopic Heller myotomy with partial posterior fundoplication is technically feasible and effectively prevents reflux symptoms. Bolstering the myotomy may help heal small esophageal perforations.