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Minerva Chirurgica 2004 October;59(5):479-88


language: Italian

The surgical treatment of gastric carcinoma. Evolution in surgical technique and stadiation in a series of 194 patients

Tersigni R., Alessandroni L., Baiano G., Mencacci R., Miceli M., Sadighi A., Sorgi G., Tremiterra S.


Aim. Surgery is, at present, the only potentially curative treatment for gastric carcinoma. The curability depends upon the extension and localization of the tumor and, particularly, the lymphatic involvement and the presence of distant metastases. The aim of this paper is to describe the personal experience during the last 2 decades and analyze the results of the surgical approach which has changed over the time.
Methods. One-hundred and ninety-four consecutive patients have been reported (127 male and 67 female, with a median age of 65.8 years), affected by gastric carcinoma and subjected to surgical procedures from 1987 to 2000. Because of the wide period of time which it refers to, this study is overlapped by a radical change in the staging rules of gastric carcinoma, according to the publication, in 1997, of the 5th edition of the TNM. This has made necessary to divide the series into 2 different groups. The 1st group is composed of 123 patients (63.4%), staged according to TNM-1987; the 2nd group is composed of 71 patients (36.6%) staged according to the TNM-1997. A D1 lymphadenectomy was used as treatment protocol until 1995. Subsequently, a D2 lymphadenectomy was performed in the most part of potentially curable patients. The reconstruction after total gastrectomy was carried out in all cases with Roux technique. In distal gastrectomies a Billroth 2 technique was performed in 89.3% of the cases and a Billroth 1 technique in 10.7% of the cases.
Results. The operative mortality observed on the total of patients was 1.5% (3 cases). With a median follow-up of 83 months (minimal 24, maximum 180 months), 134 patients were died, 50 are alive and 10 have been lost. The total median survival, in the 2 groups, was 24 months. We have observed a trend to improvement of survival for patients with carcinoma in stage II and III operated after 1997.
Conclusion. The treatment of unresectable gastric cancer, i.e. palliative surgery, is the best choice when possible in comparison to other surgical procedures (gastroenteronastomosis, jejunostomy), endoscopic procedures (dilatation, endoprosthesis, laser, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) and medical therapies. In order to choose the best palliative treatment, a careful evaluation of the non-curability signs is necessary to avoid high risk surgical interventions in patients with a low expectation of life.

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