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J Gastrointest Surg. 2013 Jul;17(7):1202-8. doi: 10.1007/s11605-013-2218-1. Epub 2013 May 17.

Laparoscopy-assisted vs. open total gastrectomy for advanced gastric cancer: long-term outcomes and technical aspects of a case-control study.

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Department of General Surgery and Center of Minimal Invasive Gastrointestinal Surgery, Southwest Hospital, The Third Military Medical University, Gaotanyan Street, Shapingba District, Chongqing 400038, China.



An increasing number of studies comparing laparoscopy-assisted distal gastrectomy and conventional open distal gastrectomy have been reported; the technical feasibility and clinical efficacy have been confirmed. However, few data are available to compare laparoscopy-assisted total gastrectomy (LATG) and open techniques for the treatment of advanced gastric cancer (AGC). The aim of this study is to compare the oncologic efficacy and long-term outcomes of LATG vs. open total gastrectomy (OTG) for AGC and to provide our experiences regarding these surgical difficulties as well.


Using data from a clinical database of all operations performed in our department by a special surgical team, we retrospectively analysed data from 117 cases of LATG and matched OTG performed between January 2004 and December 2010. This analysis was a case-control study in which patients in the two groups were matched according to tumour location, age, gender, BMI and TNM stage via a propensity score matching method. Patient clinical characteristics, lymph node retrieval, early postoperative complications, recurrence and long-term outcomes were compared.


The demographics, preoperative data and characteristics of the tumour were similar in both groups. No significant differences were found in the LATG group compared with the OTG group with regard to the number of retrieved lymph nodes or distance from the proximal margin. Operating time was longer in the LATG group than in the OTG group (292.8 ± 49.5 vs. 242.1 ± 47.4, p < 0.05). Significant differences were found between LATG and OTG with regard to blood loss, postoperative hospitalisation and times of analgesic injection. The early postoperative complication rates in the LATG group were significantly lower than in the OTG group (11.1 vs. 16.3 %, p < 0.05). Operative mortality was zero in both groups. During a median follow-up of 61.2 (range, 6-84) months, the overall 5-year survival rates in the LATG group and OTG group were 49.3 and 46.5 %, respectively; there was no significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.756).


Our results suggest that LATG is technically feasible for advanced gastric cancer patients and can yield good short- and long-term oncologic outcomes as compared with conventional OTG.

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