Background: Laparoscopic esophagogastric fundoplication is an effective treatment for severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), although its role in the very young is still largely undetermined. We review our surgical outcome in infants with severe GERD, comparing laparoscopic (LNF) with open (ONF) Nissen fundoplication.
Methods: This study reviewed 55 consecutive Nissen fundoplications performed for GERD on infants less than 1 year old at our institution between January 1996 and June 2000. The follow-up period for LNF averaged 14.2 months (range, 3.3-42 months), as compared with 16.5 months (range, 1-37.1 months) for ONF (p was not significant, t-test). Surgical outcome was compared in terms of the following parameters: average operative time, times to initiation and completion of feeding schedule, postoperative complications, and recurrence rates.
Results: For the study, 53 infants were divided into two groups: LNF (n = 39; 73.6%) and ONF (n = 14; 26.4%). The average operating time for LNF was 120 ± 24 min (range, 60-195 min), as compared with 91 ± 21 min (range, 60-135 min) for ONF (p < 0.05, t-test). Time to initiation of postoperative feeding schedule was 1.3 ± 0.3 days for LNF, as compared with 3 ± 0.9 days for ONF (p < 0.05, t-test). Full feedings were reached in 1.7 ± 0.6 days for LNF, as compared with 1.3 ± 0.9 for ONF (p was not significant, t-test). During the short-term follow-up period, recurrent reflux developed in 2/14 ONF patients (14.3%) as compared with 1/39 LNF patients (2.6%) (p < 0.05). Conclusions: We conclude that in addition to sparing infants the morbidity of celiotomy, laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication had a surgical outcome comparable to that of traditional open fundoplication in infants with severe GERD. Importantly, resumption of goal nutritional regimens was equally efficient in both groups.