To assess the surgical technique and the frequency of different types of antireflux surgery used in Canada after the introduction of laparoscopic antireflux surgery.
Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) surgery and population data in fiscal years 1992 through 1996. were accessed through the Canadian Institute of Health Information, provincial health ministries, MED ECHO and Statistics Canada databases. Data were also analysed by province and nationally for type of surgery (e.g., open abdominal, thoracic, thoracoscopic and laparoscopic).
National data showed a slight increase in GER surgery in the last 5 years. Laparoscopic surgery increased 2.8 fold in 1993 and 1.6 fold in 1995 over the previous years. Open abdominal cases decreased 1.1 fold from 1992 to 1996. Thoracic cases remained essentially unchanged. Provincial and regional disparities in procedures per 100,000 population exist (Ontario 7.1 versus Nova Scotia 20.7). Areas in which little or no laparoscopic surgery was done had an average increase of 3%, whereas areas in which laparoscopic surgery was done had an average increase of 16% in GER surgery during the course of the study. In provinces west of Quebec (with the exception of Manitoba) more than 50% of GER surgery is laparoscopic; in areas east of Ontario less than 25% of GER surgery is performed laparoscopically. Five provinces (Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland) performed significantly fewer laparoscopic procedures than the national average.
The frequency of GER surgery is increasing modestly in Canada and is performed most often by the open abdominal route. Regional disparities in open and laparoscopic techniques are apparent. Laparoscopic surgery for GER is increasing rapidly and accounts for the decrease in open GER surgery.
Comment In: Can J Surg. 2000 Feb;43(1):7-810714246