The failure-rate after primary antireflux surgery ranges from 3 to 30%. Reasons for failures are multifactorial. The aim of this study is to gain insight into the complex reasons for, and management of, failure after antireflux surgery.
Patients were selected for redo-surgery after a diagnostic workup consisting of history and physical examination, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, quality-of-life assessment, screening for somatoform disorders, esophageal manometry, 24-hour-pH-impedance monitoring, and selective radiographic studies such as Barium-sandwich for esophageal passage and delayed gastric emptying. Perioperative and follow-up data were compiled between 2004 and 2017.
In total, 578 datasets were analyzed. The patient cohort undergoing a first redo-procedure (n = 401) consisted of 36 patients after in-house primary LF and 365 external referrals (mean age: 62.1 years [25-87]; mean BMI 26 [20-34]). The majority of patients underwent a repeated total or partial laparoscopic fundoplication. Major reasons for failure were migration and insufficient mobilization during the primary operation. With each increasing number of required redo-operations, the complexity of the redo-procedure itself increased, follow-up quality-of-life decreased (GIQLI: 106; 101; and 100), and complication rate increased (intraoperative: 6,4-10%; postoperative: 4,5-19%/first to third redo). After three redo-operations, resections were frequently necessary (morbidity: 42%).
Providing a careful patient selection, primary redo-antireflux procedures have proven to be highly successful. It is often the final chance for a satisfying result may be achieved upon performing a second redo-procedure. A third revision may solve critical problems, such as severe pain and/or inadequate nutritional intake. When resection is required, quality of life cannot be entirely normalized.

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