National trends in the use of antireflux procedures for children

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Journal Article

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Child; Fundoplication; Gastroesophageal reflux surgery; Outcome assessment


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to analyze recent nationwide trends in the use of and outcomes after antireflux surgery for children. METHODS. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of children (age: <18 years) undergoing antireflux surgery by using data from 1996 to 2003 from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Census data were used to calculate the population-based rates of procedures stratified according to age and presence of neurologic impairment. Multivariate analyses were performed to determine factors associated with length of stay and in-hospital death. RESULTS. During the study period, 48 665 antireflux procedures were performed for children in the US. Although procedure rates were generally higher in 2003 than in 1996, no trends in rates were observed among different age groups and census regions during the study period. The highest population-based procedure rates were observed among infants (49-101 procedures per 100 000 population). There was a significant decrease in the percentages of children undergoing antireflux procedures who were neurologically impaired between 1996 and 2003 (53% vs 40%). Neurologically impaired children had longer lengths of stay and higher mortality rates than did neurologically normal children. CONCLUSIONS. Although procedure rates have not changed, the use of antireflux surgery has evolved during the laparoscopic era, with a decreasing percentage of neurologically impaired children undergoing this procedure. Antireflux procedures were performed predominantly for infants, most of whom were neurologically normal. Neurologically impaired children remain a group at high risk for death after antireflux procedures. Copyright © 2006 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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