PURPOSE: Assessing quality of life (QoL) after esophageal replacement (ER) for long gap esophageal atresia (LGEA).
METHODS: All patients after ER for LGEA with gastric pull-up (GPU n = 9) or jejunum interposition (JI n = 14) at the University Medical Center Groningen and Utrecht (1985-2007) were included. QoL was assessed with 1) gastrointestinal-related QoL using the Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index (GIQLI)), 2) general QoL (Child Health questionnaire CHF87-BREF (children)/World Health Organization questionnaire WHOQOL-BREF (adults)), and 3) health-related QoL (HRQoL) (TNO AZL TACQoL/TAAQoL). Association of morbidity (heartburn, dysphagia, dyspnea on exertion, recurrent cough) and (HR)QoL was evaluated.
RESULTS: Six patients after GPU (75%) and eight patients after JI (57%) responded to the questionnaires (mean age 15.7, SD 5.9, 12 male, two female). Mean gastrointestinal, general and health-related QoL total scores of the patients were comparable to healthy controls. However, young adults reported a worse physical functioning (p = 0.02) but better social functioning compared to peers (p = 0.01). Morbidity was not associated with significant differences in (HR)QoL.
CONCLUSIONS: With the current validated QoL most patients after ER with GPU and JI for LGEA have normal generic and disease specific QoL scores. Postoperative morbidity does not seem to influence (HR)QoL.
TYPE OF STUDY: Prognosis Study.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III.