Background: Posterior cruroplasty repair of a large paraesophageal hiatus hernia has a higher than desirable rate of recurrence attributable to the inexorable cyclic negative intrathoracic pressure of respiration and positive intraabdominal pressure produced by straining, physical exertion, and coughing. To reduce the risk of recurrence after repair of a large hiatus hernia and intrathoracic stomach, we have used posterior cruroplasty reinforced with an onlay polypropylene mesh prosthesis. This paper reviews the feasibility of this technique. Study Design: We did a retrospective review of 44 patients with large hiatus hernia and intrathoracic stomach who had posterior cruroplasty and onlay of polypropylene mesh prosthesis applied to the crura and adjacent diaphragm to repair the hiatal defect. Results: Preoperative symptoms (mean duration, 26 months) included pain (33 patients), vomiting (21), dysphagia (19) and anemia (8). The typical patient (28 men and 16 women, mean age, 60) had two-thirds or more of the stomach above the diaphragm. Organoaxial gastric volvulus and herniated large or small bowel were present in 10 and 9 patients, respectively. A gastrostomy was performed for temporary drainage in 38 patients in addition to the hernia repair; 11 patients underwent a concomitant Nissen fundoplication. Postoperative complications included pleural effusion (four patients), atrial dysrhythmia (three patients), and superficial wound infection (two patients). Mean followup for 43 patients was 52 months. There have been no clinical recurrences. Conclusions: Mesh prosthesis reinforced hiatus hernia repair is effective, appears to have a low clinical recurrence rate, and should be an option in the treatment of a large hiatus hernia with intrathoracic stomach.
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