Impaired esophageal body motility is a complication of chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In patients with this disease, a 360-degree fundoplication may result in severe postoperative dysphagia. Forty-six patients with GERD who had a weak lower esophageal sphincter pressure and a positive acid reflux score associated with impaired esophageal body peristalsis in the distal esophagus (amplitude <30 mm Hg and >10% simultaneous or interrupted waves) were selected to undergo laparoscopic Toupet fundoplication. They were compared with 16 similar patients with poor esophageal body function who underwent Nissen fundoplication. The patients who underwent Toupet fundoplication had less dysphagia than those who had the Nissen procedure (9% vs.44%; P=0.0041). Twenty-four-hour ambulatory pH monitoring and esophageal manometry were repeated in 31 Toupet patients 6 months after surgery. Percentage of time of esophageal exposure to pH <4.0, DeMeester reflux score, lower esophageal pressure, intra-abdominal length, vector volume, and distal esophageal amplitude all improved significantly after surgery. Ninety-one percent of patients were free of reflux symptoms. The laparoscopic Toupet fundoplication provides an effective antireflux barrier according to manometric, pH, and symptom criteria. It avoids potential postoperative dysphagia in patients with weak esophageal peristalsis and results in improved esophageal body function 6 months after surgery.