Background: Laparoscopic fundoplication is a well-established surgical option for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease. The aim of this study was to assess the surgical outcomes from the patient's point of view by using a validated quality of life instrument.
Methods: Fifty patients have been prospectively included. All patients underwent a standardized 270-degree posterior fundoplication. Quality of life was measured by the Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index (GIQLI), a 36-item-questionnaire. The patients received the questionnaire before surgery, and 3 months and 1 year after surgery.
Results: Preoperative score was 95.6+/-21 points. The score increased significantly (P <0.0005) at 3 months (103.6+/-16) and 1 year (111.4+/-22) after surgery. This improvement concerned the four domains of the questionnaire (symptoms, social functioning, physical status, and emotions). The score in patients at 1 year remained, however, significantly lower than that in healthy persons (126+/-18).
Conclusions: GIQLI is a sensitive tool to assess surgical outcomes after fundoplication. The quality of life after surgery did not reach the level of healthy population, not because of failure of surgery to treat GERD but probably because of functional dyspepsia that was present prior to surgery and did not change after fundoplication.