Anesthesiologic aspects of laparoscopic fundoplication for gastroesophageal reflux in children with chronic respiratory and gastroenterological symptoms

G. Mattioli, G. Montobbio, A. Pini Prato, P. Repetto, C. Carlini, V. Gentilino, M. Castagnetti, S. Leggio, M. Della Rocca, Z. Kotitsa, V. Jasonni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: During the past three decades laparoscopy has significantly improved. As fundoplication extensively benefits by the great advantages of the minimally invasive approach, many surgeons chose laparoscopic fundoplication for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux in adults and children as well. Pneumothorax, cardiovascular collapse, hypoxia, and hypercarbia are some of the anesthesiologist's principal fears during carbon dioxide insufflation. Thus, monitoring cardiovascular and respiratory status is mandatory to early detect any complication and to maintain a proper balance during pneumoperitoneum. Materials and methods: At Gaslini Children's Hospital we performed a prospective nonrandomized study aimed at describing the main cardiorespiratory changes produced by pneumoperitoneum in 33 pediatric patients operated on by laparoscopic fundoplication between January 2000 and June 2001. Patients were divided into two groups; namely, group A and group B. Group A included 14 patients with chronic respiratory symptoms, and group B included 19 children who preoperatively mainly emphasized gastrointestinal symptoms. We monitored intraoperative cardiorespiratory status, timed length of surgery, and described intraoperative complications. Results: No significant cardiovascular changes occurred during carbon dioxide insufflation. Partial oxygen saturation remained still in all the patients. End tidal CO2, meanly higher in group A children, increased in all the patients after pneumoperitoneum creation, but never exceeded 45 mmHg. Similarly, peak inspiratory pressure increased in all the patients, but was always maintained within acceptable values. Finally, group B patients required a harder and slower surgery, whose length seems to be negatively influenced by age. No intraoperative complication occurred. Conclusions: Carbon dioxide insufflation does not impair cardiovascular function, if intraabdominal pressure is maintained lower than 10 mmHg nor does it interfere with gas exchanges. Pneumoperitoneum slightly reduces ventilatory function, mainly in respiratory patients with various degrees of underlying bronchopulmonary impairments, but this effect is easily correctable. Thus, laparoscopic fundoplication is feasible and safe in both respiratory and gastroenterological patients, although surgery is easier and faster if periesophagitis is less evident.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-566
Number of pages8
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2003


  • Anesthesiology
  • Fundoplication
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Laparoscopy
  • Nissen
  • Pneumoperitoneum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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