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. 2020 Apr 30;26(2):215-223.
doi: 10.5056/jnm19188.

Anti-reflux Surgery Versus Proton Pump Inhibitors for Severe Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: A Cost-Effectiveness Study in Korea

Free PMC article

Anti-reflux Surgery Versus Proton Pump Inhibitors for Severe Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: A Cost-Effectiveness Study in Korea

Susan Park et al. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. .
Free PMC article


Background/aims: The economic burden for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has recently increased in Asian countries. This study investigates the cost-effectiveness between anti-reflux surgery and medication, with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for GERD in Korea.

Methods: We used a decision tree and Markov model to obtain the costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) of the surgical and medical strategies. Our target cohort was the severe GERD patients aged 50 years old who required a continuous double dose of PPIs. The time horizon was 10 years and all estimates were discounted at 5% per year. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of the anti-reflux surgery compared with medication with PPIs was calculated. Sensitivity analyses were performed on all relevant variables.

Results: The cost-utility analysis indicated anti-reflux surgery was more cost-effective than medication among severe GERD patients over a 10-year period. The model predicted that the surgical strategy had a cost savings of $551 and the QALYs had a gain of 1.18 as compared with the medical strategy. The break-even point in costs of the anti-reflux surgery over the medication was estimated to be 9 years. Sensitivity analyses using the varying parameter assumptions demonstrated the robustness of the study results.

Conclusions: This study showed anti-reflux surgery was less expensive and more effective therapy over the PPI medication after 9 years of follow-up. This suggests the surgical strategy is a cost-effective alternative to PPI medication among patients who need long-term management for GERD in Korea.

Keywords: Cost of illness; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Proton pump inhibitors; Quality-adjusted life years.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of interest: None.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Model structure. GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease; PPIs, proton pump inhibitors.
Figure 2
Figure 2
One-way sensitivity analysis according to various time horizons.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Incremental cost and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) for anti-reflux surgery compared with proton pump inhibitor therapy. Cost-effectiveness stochastic uncertainty results based on 1000 bootstrap samples.

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