Laparoscopic antireflux surgery is the procedure of choice for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, many clinicians have reservations about its application in patients with complicated GERD, notably those with esophageal shortening. In this report, we present our experience with the laparoscopic management of the shortened esophagus. A total of 235 patients with primary GERD underwent laparoscopic antireflux procedures, 38 of whom were suspected preoperatively to have a shortened esophagus. Of the 235 patients, 8 (3.4%) needed a left thoracoscopically assisted gastroplasty in addition to laparoscopic Toupet repair (n = 4) or Nissen fundoplication (n = 4). Complications included pleural effusion (n = 1), pneumothorax (n = 2), and minor atelectasis (n = 1). The average hospital stay was 3 days. Results were satisfactory in 7 of 8 patients, with a mean follow-up of 20.2 months (range, 9-34 months). The surgical management of the shortened esophagus is difficult. However, the role of minimally invasive techniques is justified. Early results are appealing, with less morbidity, satisfactory control of GERD related symptoms, and a shortened hospital stay.
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