Antireflux surgery is a highly effective treatment option in patients with severe gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. However, because of the increasing pressure of cost containment within health care, cost aspects must also be added to the decision-making process.
The aim of this analysis was to assess the total cost of open antireflux surgery during the first year after operation in 178 patients with chronic reflux, who were recruited into a controlled, prospective clinical trial. The study was carried out in 17 hospitals in the Nordic countries.
The cost of the operation represented more than 90 per cent of the direct medical costs which amounted to approximately US $5700. For a patient in the work force the indirect cost, i.e. loss of production, represented 47 per cent of the total cost, which was about US $10 800.
The total cost profile of open antireflux surgery has now been established prospectively and can form a basis for future comparisons. © 1998 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd