Objective: To describe a laparoscopic technique for treatment of sliding hiatal hernia (SHH) and associated gastroesophageal reflux (GER) in brachycephalic dogs and document clinical and videofluoroscopic outcomes postoperatively. Study design: Prospective clinical trial. Animals: Eighteen client-owned dogs. Methods: A three-port laparoscopic approach was used. Intracorporeal suturing was used for hiatal plication and esophagopexy, and left-sided laparoscopic or laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy was performed. A standardized canine dysphagia assessment tool (CDAT) questionnaire was completed by owners pre- and postoperatively. Videofluoroscopic swallow studies (VFSS) were used to evaluate esophageal function, and impedance planimetry was used to assess lower esophageal sphincter geometry preoperatively and in a subset of dogs postoperatively. Results: Median age was 27.5 (range 5–84) months. Conversion to open surgery was necessary in 1 (5.5%) of 18 dogs. Regurgitation after eating, and associated with activity/exercise, improved significantly when comparing pre- and postoperative CDAT assessments. Hiatal hernia and GER severity scores improved significantly between pre- and postoperative VFSS assessments, whereas SHH and GER frequency scores did not. One dog developed pneumothorax intraoperatively, underwent cardiopulmonary arrest, and died. Minor complications included splenic (n = 6) and hepatic lacerations (n = 3) that did not require specific therapy. Conclusion: A laparoscopic approach to treatment of SHH and GER led to improvements in clinical and VFSS indices in the majority of brachycephalic dogs. However, a subset of dogs still demonstrated some clinical signs postoperatively. Clinical relevance: In experienced hands, laparoscopic treatment of SHH and GER offers a minimally invasive alternative to open surgery.
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