The low morbidity and early recovery associated with laparoscopic procedures have heralded a new era for many types of surgery. In addition to the initial promising reports for duodenal ulcer disease and gastroesophageal reflux discussed above, there is a growing body of reports of gastric procedures performed laparoscopically, including omentopexy for perforated duodenal ulcer and laparoscopic repair of full-thickness stomach injury. Laws et al recently described the use of transthoracic vagotomy in recurrent peptic ulcer disease for four patients who had previously undergone a gastric drainage procedure. As with any new procedure, laparoscopic techniques for duodenal ulcer and Nissen fundoplication reviewed in this section need to be evaluated further for long-term effectiveness and comparability to existing therapy. At least one controlled multicenter trial is ongoing to compare the long-term results and cost-effectiveness of laparoscopic surgery for duodenal ulcer with those of standard medical therapy, and as surgeons gain more experience with these laparoscopic procedures, it is likely that other similar trials will be initiated.
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