An analysis of 29 patients who collectively required 33 reoperations for failed Heller's esophagocardiomyotomy performed during the period between 1972 and 1992 was conducted. In the majority of patients, the reoperation was necessitated because the original myotomy was not long or deep enough, or because of iatrogenic gastroesophageal reflux and its sequelae such as strictures. Identification of the exact cause of failure requires careful analysis of the patient's symptoms and of the findings of various diagnostic examinations. The treatment for inadequate myotomy generally involves performing a second myotomy, which is completed by adding a nonobstructive antireflux repair. It appears that abolition of the "siginoid sac" is essential even when the esophagogastric junction has a sufficiently large diameter. A so-called esophagoplication was performed in 3 patients, and an interposition at the site of esophageal resection, using an isoperistaltic esophagojejunogastric loop of appropriate length, was performed in 14 patients. There were no deaths following reoperation. In fact, the results were excellent or good in 23 cases and fair in 3.
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