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J Gastrointest Surg. 2012 Oct;16(10):1840-6. Epub 2012 Jul 26.

Ultrasonic scalpel for gastric cancer surgery: a prospective randomized study.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Kansai Medical University, Shinmachi 2-3-1, Hirakata City, Osaka, 573-1191, Japan.



The aim of the study was to evaluate the potential advantages of the ultrasonic scalpel compared with the conventional technique in gastric cancer surgery.


Patients with resectable adenocarcinoma of the stomach were randomly assigned to ultrasonic scalpel or conventional technique. We used the HARMONIC FOCUS (Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.) as ultrasonic scalpel.


Between February 2010 and December 2010, 60 patients with resectable gastric cancer were enrolled into the study. Operative time was significantly shorter with the ultrasonic arm than with the conventional arm (median 238.5 vs. 300.5 min; P = 0.0004). Blood loss was also significantly lower in the ultrasonic arm than in the conventional arm (median 351.0 vs. 569.5 ml; P = 0.016). Clavien-Dindo grades of postoperative complications were similar in the two groups. From a questionnaire survey of operators, the ultrasonic scalpel significantly reduced the stress of lymph node dissection (3.67 vs. 2.87; P = 0.0006). However, in assisting surgeons, the contributions to surgery, study, and technical improvement of the ultrasonic group were lower than in the conventional group.


This study shows that the ultrasonic scalpel is a reliable and safe tool for open gastric cancer surgery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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