Respiratory Function after Laparoscopic Distal Gastrectomy—An Index of Minimally Invasive Surgery
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As the techniques of laparoscopic surgery have improved, various institutions have performed laparoscopic gastrectomies with regional lymph node dissection, as well as open surgery. Although alleviation of postoperative pain and prompt recovery have been reported in the literature, objective indexes of the minimal invasiveness of laparoscopic procedures are as yet very few.
We performed distal gastrectomy with regional lymph node dissection for gastric cancer patients using three kinds of procedures, namely, open gastrectomy, hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery (HALS), and totally laparoscopic gastrectomy. Ablation of the stomach, lymph node dissection, and reconstruction of the digestive tract were all carried out intracorporeally with or without HALS in the laparoscopic procedures. The ordinary respiratory function test was performed pre- and postoperatively for 50 patients operated on by each procedure, and the reduced percentages of the measured values were calculated.
Postoperative respiratory function was consistently excellent, with minimal loss of vital capacity and forced expiratory volume per second in the totally laparoscopic group compared to HALS or open cases.
Although it may be a complicated technique, totally laparoscopic distal gastrectomy is considered a minimally invasive procedure for gastric cancer from the viewpoint of postoperative respiratory function.
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