The advantages of laparoscopic resection over open surgery in the treatment of gastric gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) are not conclusive. This study aimed to evaluate the postoperative and oncologic outcome of laparoscopic resection for gastric GIST, compared to open surgery. We retrospectively reviewed the prospectively collected database of 1019 patients with gastric GIST after surgical resection at 13 Korean and 2 Japanese institutions. The surgical and oncologic outcomes were compared between laparoscopic and open group, through 1:1 propensity score matching (PSM). The laparoscopic group (N = 318) had a lower rate of overall complications (3.5% vs. 7.9%, P = 0.024) and wound complications (0.6% vs. 3.1%, P = 0.037), shorter hospitalization days (6.68 ± 4.99 vs. 8.79 ± 6.50, P < 0.001) than the open group (N = 318). The superiority of the laparoscopic approach was also demonstrated in patients with tumors larger than 5 cm, and at unfavorable locations. The recurrence-free survival was not different between the two groups, regardless of tumor size, locational favorableness, and risk classifications. Cox regression analysis revealed that tumor size larger than 5 cm, higher mitotic count, R1 resection, and tumor rupture during surgery were independent risk factors for recurrence. Laparoscopic surgery provides lower rates of complications and shorter hospitalizations for patients with gastric GIST than open surgery.
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