Open vs laparoscopic partial posterior fundoplication

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This study compares outcomes following open and laparoscopic partial posterior fundoplication for gastroesophageal reflux disease concerning perioperative course, postoperative complications, symptomatic relief, recurrent disease, and the need for reinterventional surgery.


A prospective randomized trial was performed. Pre- and postoperative testing included endoscopy, esophageal function testing, patient questionnaire, and clinical assessment. Patients were followed for three years.


Ninety-three patients were randomized to open and 99 to laparoscopic surgery.


Complication rates were higher, and length of stay (LOS) [5 (3-36) vs 3 (1-12) days] and time off work [42 (12-76) vs 28 (0-108) days] was longer in the open group (p < 0.01). Early side effects and recurrences were more common (p < 0.05) in the laparoscopic group. One patient in the open group and 8 patients in the laparoscopic group required surgery for recurrent disease and 7 patients required surgery for incisional hernias after open surgery. Overall, at one and three years, there were no differences in patient-assessed satisfactory outcome (93.5/93.5 vs 88.8/90.8%) or reflux control (p = 0.53) between the open and laparoscopic groups.


The finding of fewer general complications, shorter length of stay and recovery, similar need for reoperations, and comparable 3-year outcomes, makes the laparoscopic approach the primary choice when considering surgical options for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

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