Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication is a relatively new technique used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The purpose of this study was to compare the cost to the patient and insurer of a laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication (LN) to an open Belsey Mark IV (B4), the previous standard operation for GERD at Emory University Hospital. A retrospective review of 20 consecutive patients undergoing LN or B4 for GERD was performed. Patients were well matched for age, severity of disease, and comorbid illness. The data were analyzed using an unpaired Student's t-test or Wilcoxon signed rank analysis. The results are as follows (mean +/- SD): [table: see text] We conclude that the charges for laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication are significantly less than the charges for Belsey Mark IV. The majority of the savings resulted from a shortened hospital stay.