Eur J Pediatr Surg 2012; 22(01): 091-096
DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1306265
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Fundoplication in Ventilator-Dependent Infants with Gastro-oesophageal Reflux

E. W. Macharia
1  Department of Surgery, Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCL Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom
,
S. Eaton
1  Department of Surgery, Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCL Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom
,
P. de Coppi
1  Department of Surgery, Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCL Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom
,
J. Curry
1  Department of Surgery, Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCL Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom
,
D. Drake
1  Department of Surgery, Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCL Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom
,
K. Cross
1  Department of Surgery, Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCL Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom
,
E. Kiely
1  Department of Surgery, Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCL Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom
,
A. Pierro
1  Department of Surgery, Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCL Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

15 May 2011

03 October 2011

Publication Date:
20 March 2012 (online)

Abstract

Aim In ventilator-dependent infants with complex comorbidities, severe gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) may contribute to prolonging the period of ventilation. It is often difficult to predict whether antireflux surgery will improve the respiratory status of an infant and assist with weaning off the ventilator. The aim of this study was to review the outcomes in a cohort of ventilator-dependent infants who underwent fundoplication to help wean them off ventilation.

Methods Between January 2006 and December 2010, out of 596 infants who underwent fundoplication for symptoms of GOR, 26 were ventilator dependent before surgery; 13 patients had an emergency fundoplication following an acute life-threatening event (n = 5, 19%) or an acute deterioration of respiratory status (n = 8, 31%). Fundoplication was planned in the rest of the group (n = 13, 50%) with the aim of improving respiratory status and weaning from ventilation. The median age at surgery was 5.8 months (range: 0.8 to 19.4 months). The median weight at surgery was 6.3 kg (range: 4 to 15.1 kg). Data were collected for each infant on comorbidities, pre- and postoperative ventilation status, pre- and postoperative GOR symptoms, and survival.

Results All infants underwent a Nissen fundoplication with no intraoperative morbidity or mortality. Of these, 12 infants had a laparoscopic fundoplication; 14 infants had an open fundoplication. Postoperatively, all infants received invasive positive pressure ventilation in the intensive care unit (ICU). All infants were successfully weaned from ventilation. The median time to extubation was 4 days (range: 2 to 18 days). The median postoperative ICU stay was 9 days (range: 3 to 52 days). Of the patients, 9 (34%) had a recurrence of symptoms following fundoplication; 5 (19%) subsequently underwent revision of fundoplication and 1 (3.8%) underwent oesophago-gastric dissociation; and 10 (38%) died within the study period.

Conclusion In infants with severe GOR, ventilator dependence, and complex comorbidities, fundoplication may be a useful procedure to assist weaning off ventilator dependence. Rates of symptom recurrence, of revision of fundoplication, and of mortality within this cohort were higher than expected. These data reflect the challenges of patient selection in high-risk groups.