Longer experience of surgeons has reduced the rate of complications in antireflux surgery.
Comparison of the rate of serious complications between open and laparoscopic fundoplication in Finland at the national level.
University teaching hospital.
From January 1, 1992, to December 31, 2001, 10 846 fundoplications were performed in Finland. Of these, 3987 (37%) were open and 6859 (63%) were laparoscopic.
Main Outcome Measures
Administrative databases provided the number of fundoplications, the rate of severe complications, and the mortality. Medical records allowed for evaluation of the nature and cause of severe complications of laparoscopic and open fundoplications.
From January 1, 1992, to December 31, 2001, hospital mortality was significantly lower after laparoscopy (P = .01). In comparable groups, surgical mortality or the overall rate of serious complications did not differ. The rate of serious complications decreased after both open surgery (P = .01) and laparoscopic surgery (P = .03). After laparoscopy, patients made claims for injuries more often (P = .003) and had a higher rate of dysphagia (P < .001). In all of the patients with severe dysphagia or fundic perforations after laparoscopy, the short gastric vessels were not divided. Furthermore, 1 open fundoplication and 22 laparoscopic fundoplications had to have reoperations performed owing to dysphagia, mostly involving technical failure.
At the national level, the first 10-year experience of laparoscopic fundoplication reduced the rate of serious complications. The complications largely were technical failures related to the lack of a standardized surgical technique.