Home E-Weekly January 31, 2017

Laparoscopy Best Surgical Option for GERD

Published: January 30, 2017

SOOTHING SURGERY Laparoscopic fundoplication shortens recoveries and lowers costs.

Laparoscopic fundoplication bests the "open" approach in the treatment of GERD and should be the standard of care for treating the disease in patients who do not respond to medication therapy, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Researchers compared the outcomes of more than 44,000 patients who underwent laparoscopic surgery and nearly 31,500 patients who underwent open procedures between 2000 and 2013. Notably, the rate of laparoscopic procedures increased from 25% to 84% across the study period.

Laparoscopic fundoplication reduced length of hospital stay by 2 days, slashed average per-case expenses by $9,000, and lowered risk of post-op blood clots, wound complications, SSIs, potentially fatal esophageal perforation, bleeding, heart failure and death.

Marco G. Patti, MD, FACS, the study's senior author and director of the center for esophageal diseases and swallowing at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, says the study shows that laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery should be the standard of care in the treatment of GERD.

Dr. Patti points to the clinical and financial benefits of the minimally invasive approach to back his claim, but also says the indirect costs of the open approach — including extended time away from work and the intangible costs of post-op pain and healing — make laparoscopic surgery the preferred treatment method.

Daniel Cook

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