Gastrointestinal Oncology

Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1507-1513

First online:

Laparoscopic Versus Open Subtotal Gastrectomy for Adenocarcinoma: A Case–Control Study

  • Vivian E. StrongAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Email author 
  • , Nicolas DevaudAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • , Peter J. AllenAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • , Mithat GonenAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • , Murray F. BrennanAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • , Daniel CoitAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

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The aim of this study is to compare technical feasibility and oncologic efficacy of totally laparoscopic versus open subtotal gastrectomy for gastric adenocarcinoma.


Laparoscopic gastrectomy for adenocarcinoma is emerging in the West as a technique that may offer benefits for patients, although large-scale studies are lacking.


This study was designed as a case-controlled study from a prospective gastric cancer database. Thirty consecutive patients undergoing laparoscopic subtotal gastrectomy for adenocarcinoma were compared with 30 patients undergoing open subtotal gastrectomy. Controls were matched for stage, age, and gender via a statistically generated selection of all gastrectomies performed during the same period of time. Patient demographics, tumor–node–metastasis (TNM) stage, histologic features, location of tumor, lymph node retrieval, recurrence, margins, and early and late postoperative complications were compared.


Tumor location and histology were similar between the two groups. Median operative time for the laparoscopic approach was 270 min (range 150–485 min) compared with median of 126 min (range 85–205 min) in the open group (p < 0.01). Hospital length of stay after laparoscopic gastrectomy was 5 days (range 2–26 days), compared with 7 days (range 5–30 days) in the open group (p = 0.01). Postoperative pain, as measured by number of days of IV narcotic use, was significantly lower for laparoscopic patients, with a median of 3 days (range 0–11 days) compared with 4 days (range 1–13 days) in the open group (p < 0.01). Postoperative early complications trended towards a decrease for laparoscopic versus open surgery patients (p = 0.07); however, there were significantly more late complications for the open group (p = 0.03). Short-term recurrence-free survival and margin status was similar between the two groups (p = not significant) with adequate lymph node retrieval in both groups.


Laparoscopic subtotal gastrectomy for adenocarcinoma is comparable to the open approach with regard to oncologic principles of resection, with equivalent margin status and adequate lymph node retrieval, demonstrating technically feasibility and equivalent short-term recurrence-free survival. Additional benefits of decreased postoperative complications, decreased length of hospital stay, and decreased narcotic use make this a preferable approach for selected patients.