Long-Term Results of Antireflux Surgery Indicate the Need for a Randomized Clinical Trial

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Background: Well conducted, comparative trials of laparoscopic versus open antireflux surgery with an adequate patient enrolment are few and they do not demonstrate obvious advantages for the laparoscopic approach except for a marginal gain in shorter hospital stay. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of laparoscopic and open procedures.

Methods: Two unselected groups of 230 patients were identified through a register of all inpatient public care in Sweden. Outcomes of laparoscopic and open antireflux surgery were compared using a disease-specific questionnaire 4 years after operation.

Results: Failure and dissatisfaction were significantly more common in the laparoscopy group than among patients having conventional open surgery. Treatment failure rates were 29·0 and 14·6 per cent respectively (P = 0·004). Dissatisfaction rates were 15·0 and 7·0 per cent respectively (P = 0·005). There was no other questionnaire item for which the proportion of failures differed significantly between the two groups.

Conclusion: This study does not support the presumption that laparoscopic antireflux surgery is to be preferred to the open procedure. It is strongly recommended that a randomized controlled trial be conducted.



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