Association of preoperative workup and comorbidities with risk of gastroesophageal surgery failure

Authors Frank Ventura, Rohin Gawdi, Zach German, Ana Patel, Carl Westcott, Steven Clayton.


Background While surgical failure rates for fundoplication and hiatal hernia repair are low, there has been no clear evaluation of the preoperative risk factors associated with surgical failure. This study aimed to identify risk factors predisposing patients to surgical failure.

Methods Patients who underwent antireflux surgery during a 3-year period were evaluated for evidence of surgical complications and placed accordingly into the failure or control group. Demographic data, comorbidities, clinical presentation, preoperative evaluation, and surgical data were collected and compared between the groups.

Results In total, 86 patients with failure and 42 controls were identified among our cohort. No significant differences were found between groups based on sex (P=0.640). However, patients with failure were younger than controls (57.0 vs. 64.7 years, P=0.0001). Body mass index, tobacco use and alcohol use did not differ significantly between the groups (P=0.189, P=0.0999, P=0.060). Notably, psychiatric illness was more common in the failure group (P=0.0086). Neither hypertension (P=0.134) nor diabetes (P=0.335) had significant differences between groups. For procedures, no significant differences were found for the frequencies of preoperative imaging (P=0.395) or manometry (P=0.374), but pH/BRAVO studies (P=0.0193) and endoscopy (P<0.001) were both performed more frequently in the failure group.

Conclusions Patients with psychiatric comorbidities are at higher risk of surgical failure. Alcohol use trended toward significance, which warrants further investigation. We also noted an increase in rates of preoperative pH and endoscopy studies, contrary to the prior literature; this is likely due to more complex cases requiring additional workup.

Keywords Gastroenterology, general surgery, fundoplication, hiatal hernia, surgical failure

Ann Gastroenterol 2024; 37 (3): 321-326

Original Articles