Clinical Trial
Comparative Study
Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
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Randomized clinical trial of laparoscopic versus open fundoplication: blind evaluation of recovery and discharge period.

BACKGROUND: There is a widespread belief that introduction of the laparoscopic technique in antireflux surgery has led to easier postoperative recovery. To test this hypothesis a prospective randomized clinical trial with blind evaluation was conducted between laparoscopic and open fundoplication.

METHODS: Sixty patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease were randomized to open or laparoscopic 360 degrees fundoplication. The type of operation was unknown to the patient and the evaluating nurses after operation.

RESULTS: The operating time was longer in the laparoscopy group, median 148 versus 109 min (P < 0.0001). The need for analgesics was less in the laparoscopically operated patients, 33.9 versus 67.5 mg morphine per total hospital stay (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in postoperative nausea and vomiting. On the first day after operation patients in the laparoscopy group had better respiratory function: forced vital capacity 3.2 versus 2. 2 litres (P = 0.004) and forced expiratory volume 2.6 versus 2.0 litres (P = 0.008). Postoperative hospital stay was shorter in the laparoscopic group, median (range) 3 (2-6) versus 3 (2-10) days (P = 0.021). No difference was found in the duration of sick leave.

CONCLUSION: Laparoscopic fundoplication was associated with a longer operating time, better respiratory function, less need for analgesics and a shorter hospital stay, while no reduction in the duration of postoperative sick leave was found compared with open surgery.

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