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Network meta‐analysis of surgical management of gastro‐oesophageal reflux disease in adults. BJS 2018; 105: 1398-1407.

Published: 13th July 2018

Authors: M. A. Amer, M. D. Smith, C. H. Khoo, G. P. Herbison, J. L. McCall

Background

Proton pump inhibitors are the mainstay of treatment for gastro‐oesophageal reflux disease, but are associated with ongoing costs and side‐effects. Antireflux surgery is cost‐effective and is preferred by many patients. A total (360o or Nissen) fundoplication is the traditional procedure, but other variations including partial fundoplications are also commonly performed, with the aim of achieving durable reflux control with minimal dysphagia. Many RCTs and some pairwise meta‐analyses have compared some of these procedures but there is still uncertainty about which, if any, is superior. Network meta‐analysis allows multiple simultaneous comparisons and robust synthesis of the available evidence in these situations. A network meta‐analysis comparing all antireflux procedures was performed to identify which has the most favourable outcomes at short‐term (3–12 months), medium‐term (1–5 years) and long‐term (10 years and more than 10 years) follow‐up.

Method

Article databases were searched systematically for all eligible RCTs. Primary outcomes were quality‐of‐life measures and dysphagia. Secondary outcomes included reflux symptoms, pH studies and complications.

Results

Fifty‐one RCTs were included, involving 5357 patients and 14 different treatments. Posterior partial fundoplication ranked best in terms of reflux symptoms, and caused less dysphagia than most other interventions including Nissen fundoplication. This was consistent across all time points and outcome measures.

Conclusion

Posterior partial fundoplication provides the best balance of long‐term, durable reflux control with less dysphagia, compared with other treatments.

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