The role of fundoplication in the treatment of type II paraesophageal hernia

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Objectives: The role of fundoplication in patients with pure type II paraesophageal hiatal hernia remains controversial. Conventional thinking suggests that because the lower esophageal sphincter is located within the abdomen, it is competent, and fundoplication is unnecessary. Few studies have used objective evaluation to guide the addition of an antireflux procedure. Methods: Fifteen consecutive patients with type II paraesophageal hernia were treated between May 1991 and July 1994. All had radiographic criteria of pure type II hernias. Preoperative evaluation included upper intestinal endoscopy, esophageal manometry, and 24-hour ambulatory pH monitoring. The lower esophageal sphincter was considered incompetent if any of the following criteria were present: a resting pressure less than 7 mm Hg, an overall sphincter length less than 2 cm, or an intraabdominal length less than 1 cm. Primary symptoms responsible for surgery were related to the hernia in 73% of patients: dysphagia or postprandial abdominal pain in six patients, abdominal distension or vomiting in four patients, and bleeding in one patient. Symptoms typical of gastroesophageal reflux were present in four patients: heartburn and regurgitation in two each. Results: Objective evidence of gastroesophageal reflux was present in the majority of patients. Five patients (31%) had evidence of esophageal injury: esophagitis in three patients, stricture in one, and esophageal ulcer in one. In 11 of 15 patients (69%), pathologic esophageal acid exposure was detected by 24-hour pH monitoring. Twelve patients (75%) had a defective lower esophageal sphincter, usually the result of an inadequate intraabdominal length (8/12, 66%). Hernia reduction, crural closure, and Nissen fundoplication were performed in 14 patients (one patient awaits surgery). Symptomatic relief was excellent in all cases. No patient has had hernia recurrence at an average of 14 months' follow-up (range 2 to 39 months). Conclusion: Objective evaluation reveals that gastroesophageal reflux accompanies type II paraesophageal hernia in a high proportion of patients, usually because of an incompetent lower esophageal sphincter. Appropriate treatment includes reduction of the hernia, crural closure, and fundoplication in most, if not all, patients.




Fuller, C. B., Hagen, J. A., DeMeester, T. R., Peters, J. H., Ritter, M., Bremner, C. G., … Hiebert, C. (1996). The role of fundoplication in the treatment of type II paraesophageal hernia. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 111(3), 655–661.

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