Assessment of laparoscopic fundoplication with endoscopy: room for improvement

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Introduction: Gastroesophageal reflux disease affects a significant portion of the Australian and world population. Minimally invasive laparoscopic fundoplication is a highly effective treatment in appropriately selected patients, with a 90% satisfaction rate. However, up to 5% will undergo revisional surgery. Endoscopy is an important investigation in the evaluation of persistent or new symptoms after fundoplication. Our study sought to evaluate the inter-rater reliability and variability in assessing fundoplication with endoscopy. 

Methods: Upper gastrointestinal (UGI) surgeons and gastroenterologists were invited to join the cohort study through their professional membership with two societies based in Australia. Participants completed a two part 25-item multiple choice questionnaire, involving the analysis of ten static endoscopic images post-fundoplication. 

Results: A total of 101 participants were included in the study (64 UGI surgeons and 37 gastroenterologists). Over 95% of participants were consultant level, working in non-rural tertiary hospitals. Total accuracy for all 10 cases combined was 76% for UGI surgeons and 69.9% for gastroenterologists. In three of the 10 cases, UGI surgeons performed significantly better than gastroenterologists (p < 0.05). When assessing performance across each of the 4 questions for each case, UGI surgeons were more accurate than gastroenterologists in describing the integrity of the wrap (p = 0.014). Inter-rater reliability was low across both groups for most domains (kappa < 1). 

Conclusion: Our study confirms low inter-rater reliability between endoscopists and large variations in reporting. UGI surgeons performed better than gastroenterologists in certain cases, usually when describing the integrity of the fundoplication. Our study provides further support for the use of a standardized reporting system in post-fundoplication patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-719
Number of pages7
JournalSurgical Endoscopy
Issue number2
Early online date30 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • Agreement
  • Endoscopy
  • Fundoplication
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Inter-rater reliability


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