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Incidence of gastroesophageal reflux following repair of esophageal atresia.

Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) was looked for retro- and prospectively by various diagnostic methods in 67 patients, subdivided into three groups according to age at time of investigation. Pathological reflux was found in only one-quarter of the patients aged 16-23 years, but in three-quarters of both younger groups followed up for 1.5-14 years so far. Whereas pathological findings were most frequently disclosed by manometry in the older patients, radiological findings were most often decisive in younger patients. Following closure of recurrent tracheoesophageal fistulas and resection of anastomotic stenoses, eight patients developed reflux complications during the first months of life; these were so severe that antireflux plasty became unavoidable. Factors influencing the incidence of GER following esophageal repair were: the definition of GER based on the diagnostic method employed, the patient's age at the time of diagnosis, and anastomotic complications requiring a second operation. The essential time for treatment was the first year of life.

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