Does laparoscopy lower the threshold for the surgical treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease in children?

C. Driessen*, B.H. Verhoeven, W. E. Ten, L.W.E. van Heurn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To assess whether laparoscopic surgery lowers the threshold for surgical intervention, we examined whether the introduction of the laparoscopic technique at our institution in 1997 has resulted in an increase in antireflux surgery in children at our clinic. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The number of annual fundoplications between 1997 and 2008 at a single institution was assessed in children younger than 18 years. The number of fundoplications was compared with the number of pyloromyotomies and appendicectomies per year in the same period of time to prove or exclude a general increase in the referral of children. RESULTS: Since 1997, the proportion of laparoscopic fundoplications increased from 60% in 1997 to 100% in 2008. During this period, 109 laparoscopic fundoplications were performed: 31 in the period from 1997 to 2002 and 78 from 2003 to 2008. Regression analysis shows a significant increase in the number of performed fundoplications (slope: 1.03 +/- 0.28, P = 0.0043), whereas both the number of pyloromyotomies and appendicectomies remained stable (slopes: -0.14 +/- 0.40, P = 0.73, and -0.75 +/- 0.47, P = 0.14, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Since the introduction of minimally invasive surgery at our tertiary referral center in 1997, the number of patients referred for an antireflux operation has increased. This cannot be explained by an increase of referrals from outside the region or a change in the indication for surgery. We conclude that laparoscopy lowers the threshold for the surgical treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease in children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-602
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • appendicectomy
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • minimally invasive surgery
  • Nissen fundoplication
  • pyloromyotomy
  • RISK

Cite this