Purpose. Laparoscopic antireflux surgery (LARS) has long been introduced as an alternative method for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in young adults. However, the safety of this procedure and the associated improvement in the quality of life for the elderly are rarely discussed. This study compared the results between young and elderly patients who underwent laparoscopic fundoplication for the treatment of GERD. Methods. From January 1999 to January 2006, there were 231 adult patients who underwent LARS for GERD at a single institute. Among all patients, 33 patients were older than 70 years old (14.3%, 73.0 ± 1.9, range 70-76), 198 patients were younger than 70 years old (85.7%, 46.6 ± 11.5, range 20-69). The clinical characteristics, operation time, postoperative hospital stay, surgical complications, and quality of life were retrospectively analyzed. Results. The mean operation time had no significant difference between the younger group and the elderly group. The mean postoperative hospital stay in the elderly group was slightly longer than the younger group (4.1 ± 2.5 days vs 3.4 ± 1.3 days, P = 0.19). There were no mortalities and no major complications found in each group. No patients required conversion to an open procedure. Four patients had minor complications (three in the elderly group, rate: 9.0%; one in the younger group, rate: 0.5%, P <0.05). There were two patients in the nonelderly group who had recurrence. A comparison of the preoperative and postoperative Gastro-Intestinal Quality of Life Index (GIQLI) scores showed significant improvements (99.3 ± 19.2 points, and 110.2 ± 20.6 points, respectively, P <0.05) with no significant difference between the two groups. Conclusion. Laparoscopic antireflux surgery thus appears to provide an equivalent degree of safety and symptomatic relief for elderly patients with GERD as that observed in young patients.
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