Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication controls reflux symptoms and improves disease-specific quality of life in patients with class I and II obesity

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Patients with class I obesity and refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease may not qualify for bariatric surgery, and the effectiveness of laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication remains controversial. This study evaluates the early efficacy of laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication in patients with class I and II obesity.


Data for patients who underwent laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication between 2009 and 2014 were collected prospectively. Cohorts were stratified based on body mass index at the time of surgery: Nonobese (body mass index <30 kg/m2), class I obese (body mass index 30–34.9 kg/m2), and class II obese (body mass index 35–39.9 kg/m2). Primary outcome measures were symptoms assessed using the gastroesophageal reflux symptom scale and the gastroesophageal reflux disease health-related quality of life questionnaires.


One hundred seventy-six patients underwent laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication during the study period: 76 nonobese (body mass index 26.2 ± 2.9 kg/m2), 53 class I obese (body mass index 32.4 ± 1.5 kg/m2), and 47 class II obese (body mass index 37.7 ± 2.5 kg/m2). Baseline gastroesophageal reflux symptom scale scores were 35.5 (6–72), 37.0 (5–72), and 45.0 (5–72) in nonobese, class I obese, and class II obese groups, respectively. Six weeks postoperatively, scores decreased to 6.5 (0–72), 4.0 (0–27), and 9.0 (0–64), respectively (P < .001). After 18-months, scores remained improved at 8.0 (0–72), 5 (0–48), and 4 (0–62), respectively (P < .001). A similar trend was seen in gastroesophageal reflux disease-health-related quality of life scores. Overall, 86%, 83%, and 79% remained free of proton-pump inhibitor medications, respectively.


Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication provides similar symptom control and quality of life 18-months postoperatively in nonobese and class I and II obese patients. Thus, laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication represents a viable surgical option for patients with class I and II obesity.

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