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Minerva Chirurgica 2012 August;67(4):319-26


language: English

Completely laparoscopic versus open total gastrectomy in stage I-III/C gastric cancer: safety, efficacy and five-year oncologic outcomey

Siani L. M., Ferranti F., De Carlo A., Quintiliani A.

Unit of General and Minimally Invasive Surgery, “San Paolo” Hospital, ASL-RM/F, Civitavecchia, Rome, Italy


AIM:Laparoscopic gastrectomy is becoming a minimally invasive procedure widely accepted by laparoscopic surgeons; yet, many doubts remain about its oncologic efficacy in treating malignant neoplasia. Aim of this study was to analyze our experience comparing completely laparoscopic total gastrectomy to its laparotomic counterpart, about safety, efficacy and five-year oncologic outcome.
METHODS:From January 2003 to October 2009, 25 patients with stage I-III/C gastric cancer (TNM Seventh Edition, 2010) were operated on and retrospectively compared to an homogeneous group of patients, stratified for age, stage of disease and comorbidities. Length of surgery, estimated blood loss, postoperative ileus, resumption of oral intake, morbidity, 30 days mortality, number of lymph nodes harvested, five years overall and disease free survival were analyzed, comparing the two groups.
RESULTS:There was no conversion. Thirty days mortality was zero for both groups, while morbidity was 16% in the lap group, 32% in the open group (P<0.05). Length of operation was 211±23 min for the lap group, and 185±19 min for the open group (P>0.05); the estimated blood loss was 250±150 mL for the lap group, 495±190 mL for the open group (P<0.05). Number of lymph nodes harvested was 35±18 for the lap group, 40±16 for the open group (P>0.05). No port site metastatic implantation occurred in any patient treated laparoscopically; five years overall and disease free survival were 55.7% and 54.2% for the lap group, 52.9% and 52.1% for the open group, respectively, with no statistical difference (P>0.05). Completely laparoscopic total gastrectomy represents a new challenge for the laparoscopic surgeon. In spite of clear advantage for patients, some debate remains about its oncologic efficacy in the middle and long period, even if many authors report comparable results to open total gastrectomy. In our experience, it is a safe and valid alternative to its open counterpart, with no statistically different number of lymph nodes harvested, five years overall and disease free survival in respect to the open gastrectomy. Yet, it remains a complex procedure requiring high laparoscopic skill.
CONCLUSION:In our opinion, completely laparoscopic total gastrectomy is a safe and effective procedure, with long term oncologic results not statistically different from the open procedure; yet, it requires high laparoscopic experience, especially to carry out an extended lymphadenectomy and to fashion the anastomosis. More randomized prospective trials are needed to state this procedure as a new gold-standard in treating stage I-III/C non metastatic gastric cancer.

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