Background: Patients with scleroderma often suffer from dysphagia and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Partial fundoplication is a validated anti-reflux procedure for GERD but may worsen dysphagia in scleroderma patients. Its utility in these patients is unknown. Here, we evaluate the efficacy and acceptability of partial fundoplication for the treatment of medically refractory GERD in patients with scleroderma. Methods: Analysis of a prospectively maintained database of patients who underwent fundoplication across 14 hospitals between 1991 and 2019. Perioperative outcomes, reintervention rates, heartburn, dysphagia, and patient satisfaction were assessed at 3 months, 1- and 3-years post-surgery. Results: A total of 17 patients with scleroderma were propensity score matched to 526 non-scleroderma controls. All underwent a partial fundoplication. Perioperative outcomes including complication rate, length of stay, and need for reoperation were similar between the two groups. Compared to baseline, both groups reported significantly improved heartburn at 3 months, 1- and 3-years following partial fundoplication. Surgery was equally effective at controlling heartburn across all follow-up timepoints in patients with or without scleroderma. Dysphagia to solids was more common in patients with scleroderma than controls at 3-months post-surgery, but was not significantly different to controls at 1- and 3-year follow-up. Satisfaction scores were high and comparable between both groups across all postoperative timepoints, with 100% of patients with scleroderma reporting that their initial choice to undergo surgery was correct. Conclusions: Partial fundoplication controls reflux and is associated with a transient period of dysphagia to solids in patients with scleroderma. This approach is safe, effective and acceptable for patients with scleroderma and medically refractory GERD.
- Female Patients
- Gastroesophageal Reflux