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Ann Surg. 2009 Nov;250(5):698-706. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181bcdaa7.

Ten-year outcome of laparoscopic and conventional nissen fundoplication: randomized clinical trial.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Gastrointestinal Research Center of the University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht 3508 GA, The Netherlands.



To compare 10 years outcome of a multicenter randomized controlled trial on laparoscopic (LNF) and conventional Nissen fundoplication (CNF), with focus on effectiveness and reoperation rate.


LNF has replaced CNF as surgical treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Decisions are based on equal short-term effectiveness and reduced morbidity, but confirmation by long-term level 1 evidence is lacking.


From 1997 to 1999, 177 proton pump inhibitor (PPI)-refractory GERD patients were randomized to undergo LNF or CNF. The 10 years results of surgery on reflux symptoms, general health, PPI use, and reoperation rates, are described. High-resolution manometry, 24-hour pH-impedance monitoring and barium swallow were performed in symptomatic patients only.


A total of 148 patients (79 LNF, 69 CNF) participated in this 10-year follow-up study. GERD symptoms were relieved in 92.4% and 90.7% (NS) after LNF and CNF, respectively. Severity of heartburn and dysphagia were similar, but slightly more patients had relief of regurgitation after LNF (98.7% vs. 91.0%; P = 0.030). The percentage of patients using PPIs slowly increased with time in both groups to 26.6% for LNF and 22.4% for CNF (NS). General health (74.7% vs. 72.7%; NS) and quality of life (visual analogue scale score: 65.3 vs. 61.4; NS) improved similarly in both groups. The percentage of patients who would have opted for surgery again was similar as well (78.5% vs. 72.7%; NS). Twice as many patients underwent reoperation after CNF compared with LNF (12 [15.2%] vs. 24 [34.8%]; P = 0.006), including a higher number of incisional hernia corrections (2 vs. 9; P = 0.015). Mean interval between operation and reintervention was longer after CNF (22.9 vs. 50.6 months; P = 0.047). Of the patients who were dependent on daily PPI therapy at 10 years (LNF 10, CNF 10), 7 patients (LNF 3, CNF 4) had recurrent GERD on pH-impedance monitoring, 5 of them with some form of anatomic recurrence. A total of 13 of 20 (65.0%) patients did not have recurrent GERD. Fourteen patients had an abnormal high-resolution manometry.


CNF carries a higher risk for surgical reintervention compared with LNF, mainly due to incisional hernia corrections. The 10-year effectiveness of LNF and CNF is comparable in terms of improvement of GERD symptoms, PPI use, quality of life, and objective reflux control. Consequently, the long-term results from this trial lend level 1 support to the use of LNF as the surgical procedure of choice for GERD.

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