Background: Reflux of duodeno-gastric fluid is a significant problem after esophagectomy with gastric conduit reconstruction. Symptoms may be severe and impact considerably upon the quality of life. Previous studies have suggested that a fundoplication type anastomosis may limit post-esophagectomy reflux. Aim: The purpose of this study was to determine whether a modified fundoplication at the gastro-esophageal anastomosis prevents reflux after esophagectomy. Methods: Prospective multicenter randomized controlled trial to compare a conventional end of esophagus to side of gastric conduit anastomosis with a modified fundoplication anastomosis in patients undergoing esophagectomy with intrathoracic anastomosis. Major outcomes were reflux symptoms, symptoms of dysphagia, and complications. Results: Fifty-six patients were enrolled. The fundoplication anastomosis was associated with significantly lower incidence of reflux (40% vs 70%), as well as a reduced incidence of severe reflux (8% vs 30%). Disturbance of sleep due to reflux was significantly reduced in the fundoplication group (18% vs 47%) as was the incidence of respiratory symptoms. The fundoplication anastomosis was not associated with an increase in dysphagia, and there was no difference in complications between the two groups. Conclusions: Fundoplication anastomosis during esophagectomy is effective in protecting patients from reflux symptoms after esophagectomy and improves quality of life, particularly with regard to sleep disturbance.
- Esophageal cancer