Impact of esophageal flexion level on the surgical outcome in patients with sigmoid esophageal achalasia
The laparoscopic Heller-Dor operation has been the procedure of choice for the treatment of achalasia. However, because the incidence of achalasia is low, reports on the outcome of surgical treatment for achalasia are limited. In this study, the therapeutic results after laparoscopic Heller-Dor operation for achalasia at a single university hospital were evaluated. Between August 1994 and July 2006, 100 consecutive patients underwent laparoscopic Heller-Dor operation. The therapeutic results after laparoscopic Heller-Dor operation were assessed based on complications, operation time, blood loss, postoperative hospital stay, and the standardized questionnaire for satisfaction by telephone or outpatient clinic interview. With respect to perioperative complications, lower esophageal mucosal perforation occurred in 14 patients, but all of them could be suture-obliterated laparoscopically. One patient was converted to laparotomy because of uncontrolled bleeding from the short gastric artery. The mean operative time was 169 minutes, and the mean perioperative blood loss was 22 mL. The median postoperative hospital stay was 7 days. Reflux esophagitis, which was seen in five patients, was treated successfully with a proton pump inhibitor. According to the standardized questionnaire for satisfaction, 77 patients rated their recovery as 'excellent', 17 as 'good', 4 as 'fair', and 2 as 'poor'; thus, the overall success rate was 94%. There were no significant differences in surgical outcomes by morphologic type and severity of esophageal dilatation; however, the success rate deteriorated significantly with progression of the morphologic type. Laparoscopic Heller-Dor operation is a safe and effective surgical treatment for achalasia.