Treatment of paraesophageal hiatal hernia in octogenarians: a systematic review and retrospective cohort study

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Abstract

Over the coming years octogenarians will make up an increasingly large proportion of the population. With the rise in octogenarians more paraesophageal hiatal hernias may be identified. In research for the optimal treatment for paraesophageal hiatal hernias, octogenarians are often omitted and the optimal surgical strategy for this patient group remains unclear. A systematic search in PubMed, Embase, and The Cochrane Library was conducted, including articles compromising 'surgery,' 'paraesophageal hiatal hernia,' and 'octogenarians.' Selection of articles was based on independent review by two authors. Alongside, a retrospective cohort study was conducted including all type II-IV hiatal hernia repairs performed in the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from 2005 to 2015. A total of 486 papers were eligible for selection. After careful selection, a total of eight articles were included. All articles were retrospective cohort studies describing different proportions of octogenarians. The populations and surgical techniques were very heterogeneous. Elective paraesophageal hiatal hernia repair was performed safely in symptomatic octogenarians in all studies. Additional analysis of 84 patients, of which 9.5% octogenarians, was performed at our tertiary referral center. A larger hernia type, more acute interventions and a higher morbidity and mortality rate was observed in octogenarians compared to patients aged <80 years. In conclusion, elective paraesophageal hiatal hernia repair can be performed in octogenarians, especially in patients without comorbidity. Findings suggest improvement in symptoms in short-term follow up, with minimal morbidity and mortality. With regard to surgical techniques, laparoscopy and fundoplication were performed safely. Octogenarians need to be included in future clinical trials to further evaluate the optimal surgical intervention. Preoperative risk assessment by clinical prediction rules should guide operative intervention, in order to evaluate risks and benefits in this challenging population.

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