Objective: The purpose of this study was to establish baseline data for a procedure that has yet to be defined within a Caribbean population. Using a specifically designed postoperative questionnaire, symptomatology and quality of life were assessed before and after laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication.
Methods: Twenty-three consecutive patients of the same surgeon were identified. The questionnaires measured the symptoms and social and emotional functioning, assigning each a score for comparative purposes. The cumulative score was considered the ultimate index of overall quality of life. Wilcoxon matched pairs test was used to analyse the data.
Results: The mean age of the patients was 47.5 years. There were 21 females and 2 males. Heartburn (78.3%) and regurgitation (60.8%) were the main symptoms. Postoperatively, these decreased to 17.3% and 4.3% respectively, with significant declines in other complaints such as dysphagia and nausea. The social and emotional functioning score had an average of 13.2 preoperatively; this increased to 18.3, postoperatively, out of a possible maximum of 20. None of the procedures had to be converted to open laparotomy and mean operating time was 108 minutes. Mean follow-up time was 9.7 months.
Conclusion: Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication does provide significant improvement in overall
quality of life among patients with gastrointestinal symptoms and can be performed effectively within a Caribbean setting.