A hypothesis has been formulated that mandates the adjustment of antireflux surgery to either a total or a partial wrap depending on the motor function of the esophagus to avoid dysphagia and other obstructive complaints. This hypothesis has been tested in a randomized, clinical trial where 106 chronic gastroesophageal reflux patients were allocated to either a total Nissen-Rossetti (n = 53) or a Toupet partial posterior (n = 53) fundoplication, irrespective of their preoperative esophageal motor function. All patients were followed at least 3 years, during which time none had a relapse of moderate to severe reflux symptoms. Motor dysfunctions defined as peristaltic amplitude </= 30 mmHg in the distal third and failed primary peristalsis with or without > 20% simultaneous contractions were noted in 67 patients preoperatively, but these patients did not have a specific symptom profile (e.g., dominated by obstructive symptoms) nor did seven patients with "aperistaltic esophagus." The incidence of dysphagia decreased from 20% preoperatively to 8% (mild) at 3 years after the operation with no difference between the surgical procedures. We were unable to demonstrate a relation between preoperative manometric findings and postoperative symptoms when assessed in the total group or when subdivided by the type of fundoplication (r < 0.3). Flatulence occurred more frequently among those with a total fundic wrap (p < 0.01). When patients representing motor dysfunction (see above) were specifically analyzed, we again observed no difference in outcome between those having a total or a partial fundic wrap. In conclusion, the concept of tailoring antireflux surgery based on the preoperative motor function of the esophagus in patients with chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease was not supported by the results of this clinical trial.