Objective Antireflux surgery can be proposed in patients with GORD, especially when proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use leads to incomplete symptom improvement. However, to date, international consensus guidelines on the clinical criteria and additional technical examinations used in patient selection for antireflux surgery are lacking. We aimed at generating key recommendations in the selection of patients for antireflux surgery.
Design We included 35 international experts (gastroenterologists, surgeons and physiologists) in a Delphi process and developed 37 statements that were revised by the Consensus Group, to start the Delphi process. Three voting rounds followed where each statement was presented with the evidence summary. The panel indicated the degree of agreement for the statement. When 80% of the Consensus Group agreed (A+/A) with a statement, this was defined as consensus. All votes were mutually anonymous.
Results Patients with heartburn with a satisfactory response to PPIs, patients with a hiatal hernia (HH), patients with oesophagitis Los Angeles (LA) grade B or higher and patients with Barrett’s oesophagus are good candidates for antireflux surgery. An endoscopy prior to antireflux surgery is mandatory and a barium swallow should be performed in patients with suspicion of a HH or short oesophagus. Oesophageal manometry is mandatory to rule out major motility disorders. Finally, oesophageal pH (±impedance) monitoring of PPI is mandatory to select patients for antireflux surgery, if endoscopy is negative for unequivocal reflux oesophagitis.
Conclusion With the ICARUS guidelines, we generated key recommendations for selection of patients for antireflux surgery.
- anti-reflux surgery
- patient selection
- delphi process
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AP and VB contributed equally.
Contributors AP, VB, TV, NR and PhR contributed to the reviewing list of publications. AP and VB drafted all the statements, tracked the voting process and wrote the manuscript. TV, NR, PhR and JT contributed to the revision of the statements and involved in the voting process. JT contributed to the study concept and design. All the other authors also contributed to the revision of the statements and involved in the voting process. All authors contributed to the critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content and approval of the final manuscript.
Funding JT is supported by a Methusalem Grant from Leuven University. AP is funded by a personal grant from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). PhR is supported by Clinical Mandate from the Belgian Foundation against Cancer (Stichting tegen Kanker).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
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