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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2009 April;64(2):169-81

language: English

Antireflux surgery

Gatenby P. A. C. 1,2, Bann S.D. 3,4

1 Division of Surgery and Interventional Science University College London Medical School, UK
2 Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, UK
3 Wellington Regional Hospital Wellington, New Zealand
4 University of Otago, New Zealand


Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is extremely common throughout Europe and the United States. This review on antireflux surgery examines the best evidence for surgical treatment of gastro-esophageal reflux disease. Comparison is made with medical antireflux therapy including histamine H2 receptor antagonist and proton pump inhibitor therapy. The randomized trials and systematic reviews available on gastro-esophageal reflux disease are reviewed and where data are scarce, the largest cohort studies available are discussed. Overall, laparoscopic antireflux surgery is safe and has a similar efficacy to open antireflux surgery and best medical therapy with proton pump inhibitors. There is a failure rate, which in some series is greater than 50% at 5 years. Due to the cost of a proportion of patients still taking antireflux medications, it cannot be recommended on cost-effectiveness grounds over best medical therapy. The choice of procedure lies between complete wrap with Nissen’s fundoplication and partial fundoplication (most frequently Toupet). Division of the short gastric vessels is not usually necessary and is associated with increased wind-related complications. Total fundoplication tends to produce superior reflux control, but at the cost of increased risk of dysphagia. There is a trend for antireflux surgery to be superior to best medical therapy in cancer prevention in Barrett’s oesophagus, but this has not reached statistical significance.

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