3 years ago

Heller myotomy versus Heller myotomy with Dor fundoplication for achalasia: long-term symptomatic follow-up of a prospective randomized controlled trial

Richard A. Pierce, Joan Kaiser, Kristy Kummerow Broman, Kenneth W. Sharp, Michael D. Holzman, Adil Faqih, William O. Richards, Benjamin K. Poulose, Sharon E. Phillips



Our prior randomized controlled trial of Heller myotomy alone versus Heller plus Dor fundoplication for achalasia from 2000 to 2004 demonstrated comparable postoperative resolution of dysphagia but less gastroesophageal reflux after Heller plus Dor. Patient-reported outcomes are needed to determine whether the findings are sustained long-term.


We actively engaged participants from the prior randomized cohort, making up to six contact attempts per person using telephone, mail, and electronic messaging. We collected patient-reported measures of dysphagia and gastroesophageal reflux using the Dysphagia Score and the Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease-Health-Related Quality of Life (GERD-HRQL) instrument. Patient-reported re-interventions for dysphagia were verified by obtaining longitudinal medical records.


Among living participants, 27/41 (66%) were contacted and all completed the follow-up study at a mean of 11.8 years postoperatively. Median Dysphagia Scores and GERD-HRQL scores were slightly worse for Heller than Heller plus Dor but were not statistically different (6 vs 3, p = 0.08 for dysphagia, 15 vs 13, p = 0.25 for reflux). Five patients in the Heller group and 6 in Heller plus Dor underwent re-intervention for dysphagia with most occurring more than five years postoperatively. One patient in each group underwent redo Heller myotomy and subsequent esophagectomy. Nearly all patients (96%) would undergo operation again.


Long-term patient-reported outcomes after Heller alone and Heller plus Dor for achalasia are comparable, providing support for either procedure.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00464-017-5845-x

DOI: 10.1007/s00464-017-5845-x

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