Background: A substantial number of people are suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The indication for surgical treatment is the failure of medical treatment in patients with objectively verified GERD. The use of PPIs has been noted to increase with the length of follow-up after fundoplication, raising questions concerning the durability of surgical results. The aim of the study was to investigate the results of open Nissen fundoplication (ONF) over a follow-up of more than 31 years.
Methods: ONF was performed for 38 consecutive patients. Questionnaires concerning long-term outcome were sent on December 14, 2015, to the 24 patients still living. Long-term symptom evaluation was carried out using the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS), Visick grading, a Visual Analog Scale (VAS), the DeMeester-Johnson reflux scale, and the 15D tool.
Results: Seventeen (70.8%) of the 24 patients still living participated in the study. The typical symptoms of GERD had resolved significantly. Dysphagia was graded as none or minimal by 13 (81.3%) patients. The mean 15D score of the patient group was clinically and statistically the same (0.896 vs. 0.899) as that of the age- and sex-standardized general population (p = 0.912). Six (15.8%) patients had used antireflux medication after the operation and 4 of them (10.6%) continuously.
Conclusions: Patients in the present study used PPIs less frequently than what has been reported in previous long-term follow-up studies. Our results indicate that successful surgery may provide lifelong relief of GERD symptoms and normalize the health-related quality of life in GERD patients.