One hundred and six children undergoing antireflux surgery were studied; 41 were severely mentally retarded and 29 had reflux strictures. Although the eventual rate of success was 92%, 20 patients developed complications that required a second operation. Prolapse of the fundoplication into the mediastinum was the commonest complication (in seven patients), followed by intestinal obstruction (in five), and intractable fibrous oesophageal strictures (in five). The incidence of postoperative complications was highest in patients with mental retardation or oesophageal strictures. Referral of these patients for operation was invariably delayed, and earlier referral may have avoided many of the complications.
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