Paraoesophageal hernia (POH) comprising type II-IV hiatal hernia often presents with pulmonary symptoms such as shortness of breath. However, impact of surgical repair on improvement in pulmonary symptoms is unclear.
This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed at characterising impact of POH repair on patient reported improvement in pulmonary symptoms.
This systematic review identified studies reported pulmonary symptoms in patients with undergoing surgical repair for Type II-IV POH from 1st January 2001 to 1st December 2018. Primary outcome was improvement in pulmonary symptoms. Secondary outcomes were improvement in other patient-reported outcomes such as heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, and dysphagia and intraoperative and postoperative outcomes.
This systematic review identified 27 studies (n = 4428 patients) reporting assessment of pulmonary symptoms. However, only 21 studies (n = 2902 patients) reported preoperative and postoperative pulmonary symptoms and hence these were included in the final meta-analysis. There was significant improvement in pulmonary symptoms following POH repair (OR: 8.40, CI: 4.91-14.35, p < 0.001), with improvement in all types of POH. Rates of overall and major complications were 16% and 5%, respectively. Rates of conversion, 30-day mortality, reoperation and recurrence were 2%, 1% 4% and 12% respectively.
This review demonstrates that POH repair is associated with improvement in pulmonary symptoms with acceptable low laparoscopic conversion rates, morbidity, mortality and recurrence rates.

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