Background: Laparoscopic antireflux surgery (LARS) is a well-established treatment option for children with proton pomp inhibitor (PPI)-resistant gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Besides preventing reflux of gastric fluid and solid content, LARS may also impair the ability of the stomach to vent intragastric air (i.e. gastric belching) and induce gas-related complications, such as bloating and/or hyperflatulence. Furthermore, it was previously hypothesized that LARS induces a behavioral type of belching, not originating from the stomach, called supragastric belching. The aim of this study was to objectively evaluate the impact of LARS on gastric (GB) and supragastric belching (SGB) in children with GERD. Methods: We performed a prospective, Dutch multicenter cohort study including 25 patients (12 males, median age 6 (range 2–18) years) with PPI-resistant GERD who were scheduled for LARS. Twenty-four-hour multichannel intraluminal impedance pH monitoring (MII-pH monitoring) was performed before and 3 months after fundoplication. Impedance pH tracings were analyzed for reflux episodes and GBs and SGBs. Key Results: LARS reduced acid exposure time from 8.5% (6.0–16.2%) to 0.8% (0.2–2.8%), p < 0.001. The number of GBs also significantly decreased after LARS (59 [43–77] VS 5 [2–12], p < 0.001). The number of air swallows remained unchanged after LARS. SGBs were infrequent before LARS with no change in the number of SGB observed after the procedure. Postoperative belching symptoms were associated with GBs, not with SGBs. Conclusion & Inferences: LARS significantly reduces the number of GBs in children with GERD, whereas the number of air swallows remains unchanged. Postoperative symptomatic belching is associated with GBs, but not with SGBs. These findings suggest that LARS does not induce the occurrence of SGBs in children, but longer follow-up is required.

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Neurogastroenterology and Motility
Department of Pediatric Surgery

Rinsma, N.F., Mauritz, F., van Heurn, E., Sloots, P., Siersema, P.D., Houwen, R., … van Herwaarden-Lindeboom, M. Y. A. (2016). Impact of laparoscopic antireflux surgery on belching in pediatric GERD patients. Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 28(10), 1525–1532. doi:10.1111/nmo.12850