Background: Despite the lack of randomized trials supporting the laparoscopic approach, laparoscopic antireflux surgery has gained widespread acceptance during the last decade. The aim of this study was to compare the short-term symptomatic and objective outcome after laparoscopic and open 360 degrees fundoplication in a prospective randomized clinical trial.
Methods: Sixty patients with GERD were randomized to undergo either laparoscopic (LF) or open 360 degrees fundoplication (OF). Endoscopy, esophageal manometry, 24-h pH monitoring, clinical symptom evaluation, and symptom scoring according to a validated questionnaire (the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale [GSRS]) was performed preoperatively and 6 months after surgery.
Results: Five patients randomized to the laparoscopic group were converted to open surgery. Esophageal acid exposure was restored to normal in all patients. Lower esophageal sphincter length and resting pressure were significantly increased after both laparoscopic and open fundoplication (p < 0.001); there were no differences between the groups. No significant differences were seen in symptomatic outcome, although there was a trend toward a higher rate of mild dysphagia (p = 0.051) after laparoscopic surgery. GSRS revealed a decrease in reflux score (p < 0.001) and abdominal pain score (p < 0.001) postoperatively. There were no significant differences in GSRS scores between the two groups.
Conclusion: Laparoscopic 360 degrees fundoplication is as effective in treating reflux disease as open fundoplication. Six months postoperatively, no significant differences were seen in symptomatic or objective outcome. Long-term evaluation is needed.