Magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) has been designed as a less disruptive and more standardized laparoscopic surgical procedure than fundoplication for patients with early stage gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). We analyzed the more recent literature in search of updates regarding indications, technique, perioperative management, and long-term outcomes.Over the years, the procedure of MSA has evolved to including full hiatus repair rather than relying on the preservation of the phreno-esophageal ligament. Restoring the mechanical synergy between the lower esophageal sphincter and the crural diaphragm has the potential to further enhance the antireflux barrier. The adoption of this approach has led to expand the indications from early stage disease to different scenarios including patients with high esophageal acid exposure, atypical symptoms, large hiatal hernias, Barrett's esophagus, postbariatric surgery, and previously failed fundoplication.MSA has a favorable side-effect profile and is highly effective in reducing typical reflux symptoms, medication dependency, and esophageal acid exposure. Excellent outcomes have been confirmed over a 12-year follow-up, indicating that the operation has the potential to prevent GERD progression. Further studies are needed to confirm the cost-effectiveness of this procedure in patients with more advanced disease-stage and prior gastric surgery. A randomized control trial comparing MSA with fundoplication could raise the level of evidence and the strength of recommendation.
Luigi Bonavina, Nick Boyle, Sebastian Schoppmann