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Twenty years of experience with laparoscopic antireflux surgery. BJS 2012; 99: 1415-1421.

Published: 7th September 2012

Authors: C. Engström, W. Cai, T. Irvine, P. G. Devitt, S. K. Thompson, P. A. Game et al.


There are few reports of large patient cohorts with long‐term follow‐up after laparoscopic antireflux surgery. This study was undertaken to evaluate changes in surgical practice and outcomes for laparoscopic antireflux surgery over a 20‐year period.


A standardized questionnaire, prospectively applied annually, was used to determine outcome for all patients undergoing laparoscopic fundoplication in two centres since commencing this procedure in 1991. Visual analogue scales ranging from 0 to 10 were used to assess symptoms of heartburn, dysphagia and satisfaction with overall outcome. Data were analysed to determine outcome across 20 years.


From 1991 to 2010, 2261 consecutive patients underwent laparoscopic fundoplication at the authors' institutions. Follow‐up ranged from 1 to 19 (mean 7·6) years. Conversion to open surgery occurred in 73 operations (3·2 per cent). Revisional surgery was performed in 216 patients (9·6 per cent), within 12 months of the original operation in 116. There was a shift from Nissen to partial fundoplication across 20 years, and a recent decline in operations for reflux, offset by an increase in surgery for large hiatus hernia. Dysphagia and satisfaction scores were stable, and heartburn scores rose slightly across 15 years of follow‐up. Heartburn scores were slightly higher and reoperation for reflux was more common after anterior partial fundoplication (P = 0·005), whereas dysphagia scores were lower and reoperation for dysphagia was less common (P < 0·001). At 10 years, satisfaction with outcome was similar for all fundoplication types.


Laparoscopic Nissen and partial fundoplications proved to be durable and achieved good long‐term outcomes. At earlier follow‐up, dysphagia was less common but reflux more common after anterior partial fundoplication, although differences had largely disappeared by 10 years. Copyright © 2012 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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