A Laparoscopic Approach in Gastro-Oesophageal Surgery Experimental and Epidemiological Studies
Abstract: The extension of laparoscopic procedures into the chest may induce specific pathophysiologic effects.In pigs, we have demonstrated how devastating a combined thoraco-laparoscopic approach can be for gas exchange. Furthermore, the transmission of elevated pressure intra-cranially is a potential danger. The application of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) was found to improve gas exchange and, more importantly, hypoxemia could be avoided. The application of PEEP did not increase intra-cranial pressure further; nor did it adversely affect cerebral circulation.Even before the introduction of the laparoscopic technique, there was a substantial increase in the annual number of antireflux procedures. Therefore, the threefold increase of the incidence of antireflux surgery recorded during the past decade cannot solely be explained by the introduction of minimal access surgery. However, a clear shift in the preferred methodology took place. This change was not scientifically supported at the time of the transition and, surprisingly, it is still not supported today. In comparison with open surgery, patients do not seem to derive significant long-term benefits from having the antireflux procedure done laparoscopically. As was demonstrated, laparoscopy might even be an inferior approach in some patients. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to assume that laparoscopy can yield equally good results as open surgery despite our failure to confirm that in our studies. Determination of the effectiveness of minimal access surgery in the treatment of GORD is critical, before minimal access techniques become the standard for antireflux surgery in the community.
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