The surgical option for gastroesophageal reflux disease

Am J Med. 1997 Nov 24;103(5A):144S-148S. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9343(97)00341-0.


Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common condition. Most patients can be managed with medications, but patients with refractory disease, particularly those with an incompetent lower esophageal sphincter, should be referred for surgery. The open Nissen fundoplication cures >90% of patients of their symptoms. The laparoscopic approach was first applied for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease in 1991, and since then numerous reports evaluating the early experience with this technique have been published with results similar to the open procedure. Over the last 5 years, 595 laparoscopic antireflux procedures have been performed by us. There was 1 mortality due to an unrecognized duodenal perforation. Splenic injury did not occur compared to an incidence of up to 8.5% for the open procedure. A total of 9 patients required conversion to the open procedure for perforation, bleeding, or dissection difficulties. However, in the last 350 cases no conversions have been necessary. Most patients are now being discharged from hospital on the day after surgery with some patients being discharged on the same day as surgery. The overall reoperation rate, both for early postoperative morbidity and for late poor outcome, was 3.9% with follow-up ranging from 2 months to 5 years. The laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication achieves the same short-term outcome as the open procedure with significantly less postoperative morbidity and a shorter hospital stay.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fundoplication / adverse effects
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / adverse effects
  • Patient Selection
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology