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JSLS. 2010 Jul-Sep;14(3):332-41. doi: 10.4293/108680810X12924466007007.

The evolution and long-term results of laparoscopic antireflux surgery for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease.

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Department of Surgery, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois 60153, USA.



For nearly 2 decades, the laparoscopic correction of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has demonstrated its utility. However, the surgical technique has evolved over time, with mixed long-term results. We briefly review the evolution of antireflux surgery for the treatment of GERD, provide an update specific to the long-term efficacy of laparoscopic antireflux surgery (LARS), and analyze the factors predictive of a desirable outcome.


PubMed and Medline database searches were performed to identify articles regarding the laparoscopic treatment of GERD. Emphasis was placed on randomized control trials (RCTs) and reports with follow-up >1 year. Specific parameters addressed included operative technique, resolution of symptoms, complications, quality of life, division of short gastric vessels (SGVs), mesh repair, and approximation of the crura. Those studies specifically addressing follow-up of <1 year, the pediatric or elderly population, redo fundoplication, and repair of paraesophageal hernia and short esophagus were excluded.


LARS has varied in technical approach through the years. Not until recently have more long-term, objective studies become available to allow for evidenced-based appraisals. Our review of the literature found no long-term difference in the rates of heartburn, gas-bloat, antacid use, or patient satisfaction between laparoscopic Nissen and Toupet fundoplication. In addition, several studies have shown that more patients had an abnormal pH profile following laparoscopic partial as opposed to total fundoplication. Conversely, dysphagia was more common following laparoscopic total versus partial fundoplication in 50% of RCTs at 12-month follow-up, though this resolved over time, being present in only 20% with follow-up >24 months. We confirmed that preoperative factors, such as hiatal hernia, atypical symptoms, poor antacid response, body mass index (BMI), and postoperative vomiting, are potential predictors of an unsatisfactory long-term outcome. Last, no trial disfavored division of the short gastric vessels (SGVs), closure of the crura, or mesh repair for hiatal defects.


LARS has significantly evolved over time. The laparoscopic total fundoplication appears to provide more durable long-term results than the partial approach, as long as the technical elements of the operation are respected. Division of the SGVs, closure of the crura, and the use of mesh for large hiatal defects positively impacts long-term outcome. Hiatal hernia, atypical symptoms, poor antacid response, body mass index (BMI), and postoperative vomiting are potential predictors of failure in LARS.

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