Seven-year follow-up of a randomized clinical trial comparing proton-pump inhibition with surgical therapy for reflux oesophagitis

Br J Surg. 2007 Feb;94(2):198-203. doi: 10.1002/bjs.5492.


Background: This randomized clinical trial compared long-term outcome after antireflux surgery with acid inhibition therapy in the treatment of chronic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).

Methods: Patients with chronic GORD and oesophagitis verified at endoscopy were allocated to treatment with omeprazole (154 patients) or antireflux surgery (144). After 7 years of follow-up, 119 patients in the omeprazole arm and 99 who had antireflux surgery were available for evaluation. The primary outcome variable was the cumulative proportion of patients in whom treatment failed. Secondary objectives were evaluation of the treatment failure rate after dose adjustment of omeprazole, safety, and the frequency and severity of post-fundoplication complaints.

Results: The proportion of patients in whom treatment did not fail during the 7 years was significantly higher in the surgical than in the medical group (66.7 versus 46.7 per cent respectively; P=0.002). A smaller difference remained after dose adjustment in the omeprazole group (P=0.045). More patients in the surgical group complained of symptoms such as dysphagia, inability to belch or vomit, and rectal flatulence. These complaints were fairly stable throughout the study interval. The mean daily dose of omeprazole was 22.8, 24.1, 24.3 and 24.3 mg at 1, 3, 5 and 7 years respectively.

Conclusion: Chronic GORD can be treated effectively by either antireflux surgery or omeprazole therapy. After 7 years, surgery was more effective in controlling overall disease symptoms, but specific post-fundoplication complaints remained a problem. There appeared to be no dose escalation of omeprazole with time.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Esophagitis / complications
  • Esophagitis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fundoplication / methods*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Omeprazole / adverse effects
  • Omeprazole / therapeutic use*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors*
  • Reoperation
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Omeprazole