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Surg Endosc. 2006 Nov;20(11):1662-70. Epub 2006 Oct 5.

Laparoscopic fundoplication: a 10-year learning curve.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University Hospital of Larisa, Larisa, Greece.



Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication (LNF) has become the most common surgical treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Controversies still exist regarding the operative technique and the durability of the procedure.


A retrospective study of 808 patients undergoing 838 LNF for GERD at a tertiary referral center was undertaken. Demographic, perioperative, and follow-up data had been entered onto the unit database.


During a median follow-up period of 60 months (range, 2-120 months), heartburn decreased to 3% of the patients (19/645) and regurgitation to 2% (11/582) (p < 0.01). Respiratory symptoms improved in 69 (85%) of 81 patients (p < 0.01). The incidence of postoperative dysphagia was unaffected by the use of an intraesophageal bougie (odds ratio [OR], 1.16; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82-1.64; p = 0.41) or division of the short gastric vessels (OR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.42-1.07; p = 0.72). In the immediate postoperative period, the incidence of abdominal symptoms increased by 10% (p < 0.01) and dysphagia by 16% (p < 0.01). After 10 postoperative years, only 3% (30/484) were found to have abdominal symptoms, whereas the incidence of dysphagia declined to zero.


The findings show that LNF is a safe and effective procedure with long-term durability. Abdominal symptoms and dysphagia are the principal postoperative complaints, which improve with time. Personal preference should dictate the use of a bougie, division of the short gastric vessels, or both.

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