Background: Completion total gastrectomy for remnant gastric cancer (RGC) is technically challenging, especially using the minimally invasive approach. Only a few small case series have reported the technical feasibility of completion total gastrectomy by minimally invasive surgery (MIS). The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of MIS and open surgery for RGC. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 76 completion total gastrectomies for RGC between 2005 and 2012. Indications for MIS were limited to no evidence of serosa invasion or lymph node metastasis to extraperigastric areas on preoperative evaluation. We compared patient characteristics, intraoperative factors, post-operative outcomes, and survival for the MIS and open surgery groups. Results: Eighteen patients underwent completion total gastrectomy with MIS (10 laparoscopic, 8 robotic) and 58 patients underwent open surgery. Operation time was longer in the MIS than the open group (266 vs. 203 min, P = 0.004), but the groups had similar estimated blood loss, frequency of unplanned other organ resection, and number of retrieved lymph nodes. The MIS group had a significantly earlier initiation of soft diet, shorter hospital stay, and fewer pain medication injections. Complication rates, recurrence, and overall 5-year survival were similar for the two groups. When we compared laparoscopy with robotic, similar result was shown in all parameters except operation time. Conclusions: Compared to open surgery, MIS for RGC demonstrated better short-term outcome and comparable oncologic results. MIS for RGC is feasible and safe and maintains advantages of minimal invasiveness. Both laparoscopic and robotic approaches are reasonable to the management of RGC.
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