Postmyotomy recollection of premyotomy symptoms of achalasia is very accurate, supporting longitudinal studies of symptom improvement

S. M. Cowgill, D. Villalodid, Sam Al-Saadi, J. Hedgecock, A. S. Rosemurgy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2183-2186
Number of pages4
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Volume21
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery

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