Researchers have found that the rates of surgical operations for gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) in the United States have fallen rapidly in recent years, from 0.062 percent in 2009 to 0.047 percent in 2013. The numbers of overweight and obese patients having this surgery have increased, however. Also, women are more likely than men to have surgery for GERD.

Importantly, surgery was not found to bring complete relief from GERD symptoms: 80% of patients who had surgery were still being treated with a proton pump inhibitor.

"It is likely that multiple different reasons, rather than a single reason, led to this decline. It is possible that patient concerns about short- and long-term adverse effects, the need for reoperation and the high relapse rate of GERD-related symptoms post surgery have played an important role in this decline," wrote the authors of the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics article.

Article: Utilisation of surgical fundoplication for patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in the USA has declined rapidly between 2009 and 2013, Khan, F., Maradey-Romero, C., Ganocy, S., Frazier, R. and Fass, R., Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, doi: 10.1111/apt.13611, published online 6 April 2016.