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J Gastrointest Surg. 2006 Jul-Aug;10(7):934-9.

Quality of life in GERD patients: medical treatment versus antireflux surgery.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, General Hospital Krems, Austria.


Medical and surgical treatments are able to improve symptoms in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome in GERD patients without therapy, under continuous medical treatment, and after laparoscopic antireflux surgery. Five hundred seventy-nine consecutive patients underwent medical or surgical treatment for GERD-induced symptoms. Patients were studied in detail before and after treatment by means of a symptom questionnaire, endoscopy, esophageal manometry, 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring, and a barium esophagogram. In addition, quality of life was measured by the means of the Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index (GIQLI) and the Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQL) questionnaire. Surgery was indicated and performed in 351 patients with persistent or recurrent GERD symptoms and/or complications, and in patients preferring surgery to medical treatment, despite the use of an adequate medication. The remaining 228 patients were treated with proton pump inhibitors (PPI) in the standard dose, or if required, the double dose. The outcome was assessed 3 and 12 months after treatment. While symptoms and quality of life were highly impaired in GERD patients without therapy compared with normal people, a significant improvement was obtained by PPI therapy. Following surgery, quality of life was normalized in all subsections and was significantly higher compared with the medically treated group. These results stayed constant in short-term and intermediate follow-up. Medical and surgical therapies are both able to improve symptoms and quality of life in GERD patients. Nevertheless, the outcome is significantly better following surgery. It can be suggested that surgical treatment may be the more successful therapy in the long-term.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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