Objective: To compare laparoscopic (LNF) with open Nissen fundoplication (ONF) in terms of hospital charges, efficacy, and patient satisfaction.
Design: A prospective, nonrandomized study with a median follow-up of 370 days.
Setting: Two tertiary care university hospitals.
Patients: Eighty-six patients with complications of gastroesophageal reflux who had not had previous antireflux surgery were studied. Patients chose ONF or LNF following discussion with the surgeon; 12 underwent ONF and 74 underwent LNF, of whom eight required conversion to laparotomy.
Main outcome measures: Hospital charges, disability, satisfaction, and side effects of fundoplication.
Results: Patients were demographically similar. Total charges (mean +/- SD) for LNF ($11,673 +/- $4723) were significantly less than for ONF ($18,394 +/- $17,264). Patients who underwent LNF returned to work sooner (10 +/- 3 days) than those who underwent ONF (28 +/- 1 days). Bloating, dysphagia, and recurrent heartburn occurred with equal frequency in both groups. Recurrent reflex occurred in four of 74 LNF patients and one of 12 ONF patients. Overall satisfaction scores were similar, irrespective of operative technique (LNF, 3.35 +/- 0.87; ONF, 3.50 +/- 0.94.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication is as effective as ONF in the treatment of complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease and appears to cost less and lead to faster recovery from surgery, but does not result in higher patient satisfaction than ONF. The most important factor in patient satisfaction is the abolition of preoperative symptoms rather than the type of operation.