Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, 2006, Vol.10(10), pp.1400-1408
Myotomy has proved to be an efficient primary therapy in patients with achalasia, especially in younger patients (〈40 years of age). The results of laparoscopic myotomy cannot be finally assessed, on account of the shorter postoperative follow-up. Thus, there are considerable data regarding intermediate-term outcomes after laparoscopic myotomy. The aim of our study was a 20-year analysis of the conventional cardiomyotomy as the underlying basis assessing the results of minimal-invasive surgery. Within 20 years (September 1985 through September 2005), 161 operations for achalasia were performed in our clinic. Enrolled in this study were 108 patients with a conventional, transabdominal myotomy in combination with an anterior semifundoplication (Dor procedure) and a minimal follow-up of 6 months. All patients were prospectively followed and, in addition to radiologic and manometric examinations of the esophagus, the patients were asked for their clinical symptoms by structured interviews in 2-year intervals. The median age at the time of surgery was 44.5 (range, 14–78) years, and 72.2% of the patients were males. The median length of the preoperative symptoms was 3 years (3 months to 50 years), and the postoperative follow-up was 55 (range, 6-206) months. In 70 (64.8%) patients, a pneumatic dilation had been performed. The preoperative Eckardt score of 6 (range, 2–12) could be reduced to 1 (range, 0–4) after myotomy ( P 〈0.0001). Consequently, with 97.2% of all patients, a good-to-excellent result was achieved in the long-term follow-up, corresponding to a clinical stage I-II. Postoperatively, 69 patients (63.9%) gained weight. The radiologically measured maximum diameter of the esophagus decreased from preoperatively 45 (range, 20–75) mm to postoperatively 30 (range, 20–60) mm, while the minimum diameter of the cardia increased from 3.4 (range, 1–10) mm to 10 (range, 5–15) mm. The resting pressure of the lower esophageal sphincter could be reduced from 28.4 (range, 9.4–56.0) mm Hg to 8.6 (range, 3.0–22.5) mm Hg. Conventional myotomy leads in the long run with high efficiency to an improvement of the symptoms evident in achalasia. These results may be regarded as the basis for assessment of the minimal-invasive procedure.
Achalasia ; conventional myotomy ; prospective 20-year analysis ; basis for assessing the laparoscopic procedure
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