Postoperative Results After Laparoscopic Approach for Treatment of Large Hiatal Hernias: Is Mesh Always Needed? Is the Addition of an Antireflux Procedure Necessary?
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Laparoscopic approach has been suggested as the definitive treatment for large hiatal hernias. Reinforcement of the hiatoplasty and the need to perform antireflux surgery is still undergoing discussion. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the postoperative results, with special emphasis on the recurrence rate and reflux after surgery comparing the use or not of mesh reinforcement. This prospective study included 81 patients with a complete evaluation through a clinical questionnaire, barium sulfate radiologic evaluation, endoscopy, manometry, and 24-hour intraesophageal pH monitoring before and after a hiatoplasty with an antireflux procedure. Mesh reinforcement was used in 23 patients. Postoperative complications occurred in 11 patients (13.6%), without mortality. Recurrent hernia was observed in 10 patients without mesh reinforcement (12.3%), whereas those with mesh reinforcement showed no hiatal hernia recurrence (P = 0.33). Normal resting lower esophageal sphincter pressure was obtained after fundoplication in 87.2% of patients, and abnormal acid reflux was observed in 12.8% of patients after surgery. In conclusion, mesh reinforcement in patients with large Type IV could prevent recurrent hiatal hernias, and an antireflux procedure must be performed in order to avoid postoperative acid reflux.