Outcomes after minimally invasive esophagomyotomy

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Background. Thoracic surgeons traditionally performed thoracotomy and myotomy for achalasia. Recently minimally invasive approaches have been reported with good success. This report summarizes our single-institution experience using video-assisted thoracoscopy (VATS) or laparoscopy (LAP) for the treatment of achalasia. Methods. A review of 62 patients undergoing minimally invasive myotomy for achalasia was performed. There were 27 male and 35 female patients. Mean age was 53 years (range 14 to 86). Thirty-seven (59.7%) had failed prior treatments (balloon dilation, botulinim toxin injection, or prior surgery). Outcomes studied were dysphagia score (1 = none, 5 = severe), Short-Form 36 quality of life (SF36 QOL) score, and heartburn-related QOL index (HRQOL). Results. Surgery included myotomy and partial fundoplication (5 VATS and 57 LAP). Mortality was zero, and complications occurred in 9 (14.5%) patients. There were 6 perforations (4 repaired by LAP and 2 open). Median length of stay was 2 days, time to oral intake was 1 day. At a mean of 19 months follow-up, 92.5% of patients were satisfied with outcome. Dysphagia scores improved from 3.6 to 1.5 (p < 0.01) but 3 patients ultimately required esophagectomy for recurrent dysphagia. HRQOL scores for heartburn and SF-36 QOL scores were comparable with control populations. Conclusions. Minimally invasive myotomy and partial fundoplication for achalasia improved dysphagia in 92.5% of patients with heartburn and QOL scores were comparable with normal values at 19-month follow-up. The laparoscopic approach offers excellent results and was the preferred approach by our thoracic group for treating achalasia. Thoracic residency training should strive to include laparoscopic esophageal experience. © 2001 by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.




Luketich, J. D., Fernando, H. C., Christie, N. A., Buenaventura, P. O., Keenan, R. J., Ikramuddin, S., & Schauer, P. R. (2001). Outcomes after minimally invasive esophagomyotomy. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 72(6), 1909–1913. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0003-4975(01)03127-7

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