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Boix-Ochoa (Partial Fundoplication) Treats Reflux, Even in Neurologically Impaired Patients. Can it Take the Title of "Gold Standard" from Total Fundoplication?

BACKGROUND: In 4-5% of cases of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), surgical treatment is required. The aim of the study was to evaluate the success of Boix-Ochoa antireflux surgery, which is considered more physiologic with a higher failure rate (need for reoperation) than Nissen fundoplication, which is believed to be the gold standard operation.

METHOD: In the 13 years from 2005 to 2018, the medical records of all children who underwent Boix-Ochoa in a single institution by pediatric surgeons were reviewed retrospectively.

RESULTS: A total of 133 fundoplications were performed, of which patients were divided into four groups: neurologically impaired, structurally impaired, neurologically and structurally impaired, and neurologically and structurally normal; there were 64, 8, 34, and 27 patients in each group, respectively. Structural impairments included hiatal hernia and esophagus atresia, having previously had a gastrostomy and esophageal stenosis. The most common short-term complication was distal esophageal stenosis (13%), which caused vomiting and dysphagia, and was treated by dilatations. There were six (4.5%) recurrences of GER, one in the neurologically and structurally impaired group with a hiatal hernia and five in the structurally impaired group (three esophagus atresias, two caustic esophageal strictures). The mean follow-up period was 5.27 ± 3.43 years. Neurological impairment did not affect the success rate.

CONCLUSION: Although there has not any literature demonstrating significant benefits of one procedure, we detected with this largest study in the pediatric literature about Boix-Ochoa fundoplication (more physiologic and easily performed) that it was successful (95%) in protecting reflux even in neurologically impaired patients (98%). We consider Boix-Ochoa (partial fundoplication) to be an alternative method to Nissen (complete fundoplication), and it can be done safely with a high success rate.

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