Postprandial bloating after laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication.
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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prevalence and possible contributing factors to postprandial bloating in patients having chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) before and after laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication. DESIGN: A prospective cohort study. SETTING: A tertiary care teaching hospital. PATIENTS: Five hundred and seventy-eight patients with proven GERD. INTERVENTION: Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication. OUTCOME MEASURES: Symptom severity scores for postprandial bloating and dysphagia, esophageal motility and 24-hour pH measurement before and at 6 months, 2 years and 5 years after laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication. RESULTS: Of the 598 patients, 436 (73%) reported some postprandial bloating before the procedure. The symptom score for bloating significantly improved after surgery (p < 0.0001). There were no significant differences in the lower esophageal sphincter basal pressures or 24-hour pH scores between those who reported improvement or worsening of their postprandial bloating. At 6 months after surgery, 54% of patients experienced postprandial bloating; of these, 49% reported improvement, 21% reported worsening and 30% reported no change in bloating symptoms compared with the preoperative state. Of the patients who reported worsening of postprandial bloating 6 months after surgery, 86 were reassessed 2 years after surgery and 71% reported improvement of this symptom over this time interval. CONCLUSIONS: Bloating is a common symptom in patients who suffer from chronic GERD. Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication lessens the severity of this symptom in most patients. In a small subgroup of patients, antireflux surgery may exacerbate the bloating, but this improves over time.
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