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Minerva Chirurgica 2000 October;55(10):721-32


language: Italian

Mesogastrectomy in the treatment of gastric cancer. Experience of 61 cases

Gullino D., Giordano O., Ghione S., Lijoi C., Masella M., Zavattero C.


Background. In gastric cancer surgery, to search for a technique to remove the entire posterior mesogastric region using a standardised operation using well defined methods and anatomic-embryological planes.
Methods. A concise description of the embryological evolution of the posterior mesogastrium allow the formation of the mesogastric fascia (and the supramesocolic fascia of the omentum ‹ which is a continuation) to be documented. It is also clear that the mesogastric fascia is the embryological - anatomical equivalent of Treitz's fascia, pancreatic retro-head, and Toldt's retrocolic fascia, of which it is a structural continuation. Like Treitz's and Toldt's fascias, the mesogastric fascia also represents the surgical plane for the detachment of the region in question and allows maximum safety and radicality. By carrying out primary ligature of the arteries at the origin and the veins at the outlet, the entire posterior mesogastric region, with the relative lymph node stations, can be removed en bloc with maximum radicality and safety, and also in line with the principle of ''no touch isolation''. We used this technique to operate 61 cases, 17% of all cases of gastric carcinomas between 1973 and 1994.
Results. Mesogastrectomy was required in 87% of cases with carcinoma in a high localisation or widespread nature of the linitis plastica type. Only 23 cases (37%) were at pTNM II and III A stages. Thirty-eight cases (63%) were at stages III B and IV. In non-selected cases and those with severe associated pathologies and undergoing emergency surgery, and those cases that were extended beyond mesogastrectomy, morbidity was above all linked to pleural effusion. There were only 2 cases (3%) of operating mortality owing to two technical errors: an esophago-jejunal anastomotic dehiscence (the only case in the series, 1.6%) caused by esophageal cancer nests in the suture and a case of necrosis in the left hepatic region following the section of the left gastric artery at the origin despite the existence of a large hepatic collateral vessel. The results for stages II and III A were excellent: stage II, 100% survival at 5, 10 and 15 years; stage III A 88% survival at 5 years, 70% at 10 years, 55% at 15 years, but only two deaths from neoplasia at 2.7 and 4.6 years. The results for stages III B and IV are comparable to large series undergoing traditional forms of surgery. Postoperative conditions of nutrition and quality of life were good and patients resumed activities with the aid of constant chlorhydric-peptic replacement treatment and the total extraction of gastric mucosa.
Conclusions. We believe that mesogastrectomy represents a real advance in both technical terms and results for stages II and III A; it is debatable for stages III B and IV, although individual cases who survived for more than 10 years were also reported. The case of a stage pT3N0M1 = IV pathology, with a single hepatic metastasis that increased until one year and then spontaneously resolved leaving the patient alive and in good health 20 years and 6 months after the operation is truly amazing.

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