Complications of Antireflux Surgery

Rena Yadlapati*, Eric S. Hungness, John E. Pandolfino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Antireflux surgery anatomically restores the antireflux barrier and is a therapeutic option for proton pump inhibitor (PPI)-refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease or PPI intolerance. Laparoscopic fundoplication is the standard antireflux surgery, though its popularity has declined due to concerns regarding wrap durability and adverse events. As the esophagogastric junction is an anatomically complex and dynamic area subject to mechanical stress, wraps are susceptible to disruption, herniation or slippage. Additionally, recreating an antireflux barrier to balance bidirectional bolus flow is challenging, and wraps may be too tight or too loose. Given these complexities it is not surprising that post-fundoplication symptoms and complications are common. Perioperative mortality rates range from 0.1 to 0.2% and prolonged structural complications occur in up to 30% of cases. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with a comprehensive retroflexed examination of the fundoplication and barium esophagram are the primary tests to assess for structural complications. Management hinges on differentiating complications that can be managed with medical and lifestyle optimization versus those that require surgical revision. Reoperation is best reserved for severe structural abnormalities and troublesome symptoms despite medical and endoscopic therapy given its increased morbidity and mortality. Though further data are needed, magnetic sphincter augmentation may be a safer alternative to fundoplication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1147
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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