Background: Recollection of preoperative symptom frequency and severity may change postoperatively, thus invalidating longitudinal studies. This study was undertaken to compare symptoms of achalasia before myotomy to patients' postoperative recollection of premyotomy symptoms. Methods: A total of 173 patients, 54% male, of median age 48 years, have undergone laparoscopic Heller myotomy and have been followed through a prospectively maintained registry. Preoperatively, patients scored the frequency and severity of their symptoms on a Likert scale: 0 (never/very bothersome) to 10 (always/very bothersome). Similarly, after laparoscopic Heller myotomy, patients scored the frequency and severity of their symptoms, and re-scored their preoperative symptoms. Data are presented as median, mean ± SD. Results: Before myotomy, dysphagia, regurgitation, choking, chest pain, vomiting, and heartburn were particularly notable; symptom scores nearly globally improved after myotomy (p < 0.05 for all, Wilcoxon matched pairs test), especially obstructive symptoms. Postmyotomy recollection of premyotomy symptom frequency and severity was neither substantively nor consistently different from premyotomy scoring. Conclusions: Before myotomy, patient symptom scores reflected the deleterious impact of achalasia. After myotomy, patient symptom scores dramatically improved, reflecting the favorable impact of laparoscopic Heller myotomy. Even years after myotomy, patient recollection of premyotomy symptom severity and frequency is very accurate and supports longitudinal studies of symptom improvement after myotomy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Surgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2007|
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