The need for an antireflux procedure during repair of a paraesophageal hernia (PEH) has been the subject of a long-standing controversy. With most centers now performing routine fundoplication during PEH repair, high-quality data on whether crural repair alone or using a mesh may provide adequate anti-reflux effect is still scarce. We sought to answer to the question: “Is fundoplication routinely needed during PEH repair?”. Our endpoints were (I) rates of postoperative gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) (either symptomatic or objectively assessed), (II) rates of recurrence, and (III) rates of postoperative dysphagia. We searched the MEDLINE, Cochrane, PubMed, and Embase databases for papers published between 1995 and 2019, selecting comparative cohort studies and only including papers reporting the rationale for performing or not performing fundoplication. Overall, nine papers were included for review. While four of the included studies recommended selective or no fundoplication, most of these data come from earlier retrospective studies. Higher-quality data from recent prospective studies including two randomized controlled trials recommended routine fundoplication, mostly due to a significantly lower incidence of postoperative GERD. However, only a relatively short follow-up of 12 months was presented, which we recognize as an important limitation. Fundoplication did not seem to result in reduced recurrence rates when compared to primary repair alone.
2021 Annals of Translational Medicine. All rights reserved.