, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 1625-1631
Date: 14 Mar 2008

Surgical Complications and the Risk Factors of Laparoscopy-Assisted Distal Gastrectomy in Early Gastric Cancer

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Information on surgical complications of laparoscopy-assisted distal gastrectomy (LADG) and their risk factors is limited in the literature despite increasing popularity of this procedure. This study was performed to identify the surgical complications and their associated risk factors of LADG in early gastric cancer.


LADG was performed in 347 gastric cancer patients from January 2002 to December 2006 at the Korean National Cancer Center by four surgeons with ample experience of open gastric surgery before LADG. LADG indications for cases of gastric cancer at our institution are preoperatively diagnosed cT1N0 or cT1N1, except in cases with an absolute indication for endoscopic resection. Lymph node dissection of more than D1 + β was performed in all patients. Intraoperative and postoperative complications were reviewed and their risk factors were retrospectively analyzed by prospective database information.


Forty complications occurred in 34 patients (9.8%), but there was no mortality. Intraoperative complications occurred in nine patients (2.6%), and open conversion was performed in eight (2.3%) of these patients. Early and late postoperative complications occurred in 21 (6.1%) and 10 (2.9%) patients, respectively. The most serious complication was vascular injury resulting in bleeding or organ ischemia, which occurred in seven patients. Degree of lymph node dissection and surgical inexperience were found to be risk factors of surgical complication (P = .023, odds ratio 2.832, 95% confidence interval 1.155–6.946 vs. P = .028, odds ratio 2.975, 95% confidence interval 1.127–7.854).


Lymph node dissection during LADG should be performed cautiously to prevent surgical complications like vascular injuries, especially during the surgeon’s early learning period.