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Dig Surg. 2011;28(3):167-72. doi: 10.1159/000323744. Epub 2011 May 4.

Nasogastric decompression for radical gastrectomy for gastric cancer: a prospective randomized controlled study.

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Department of Surgery, Shanghai Institute of Digestive Surgery, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the necessity of a nasogastric decompression in radical gastrectomy for gastric cancer patients by a prospective randomized controlled trial.


From 2007 to 2009, 161 gastric cancer patients who underwent radical gastrectomy were randomly selected and entered into three groups: tube group (TG), intra-operative tube group (ITG), and no-tube group (NTG). The variables studied among the groups were demographic characteristics, surgical characteristics, postoperative recovery and complications.


With respect to demographic and surgical characteristics, there were no significant differences among the 3 groups. The time of the first passage of flatus, tolerance of water intake, liquid diet and semiliquid diet were similar among TG, ITG and NTG. Postoperative hospital stay was increased in patients from TG compared to NTG (11.3 vs. 10.2 days, p = 0.031). The incidence of nausea was significantly higher in TG than in ITG or NTG (64 vs. 36.8 and 29.6%). The overall postoperative complication rate was not significantly different among these groups (20, 15.8 and 20.4% in TG, ITG and NTG, respectively, p = 0.612).


Radical gastrectomy can be performed safely without nasogastric decompression for gastric cancer patients. The routine prophylactic nasogastric decompression is unnecessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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