Laparoscopic vs open resection of gastric stromal tumors

  • B. D. Matthews
  • R. M. Walsh
  • K. W. Kercher
  • R. F. Sing
  • B. L. Pratt
  • G. A. Answini
  • B. T. Heniford
Original Articles



Gastric stromal tumors are rare neoplasms that may be benign or malignant. Given that malignant gastric stromal tumors rarely involve lymph nodes and require excision with negative margins, they appear amendable to laparoscopic excision. There are few reports of laparoscopic resection, and no comparisons have been done between laparoscopic and open surgery. This study compares the relative efficacy of the two approaches.


Between May 1994 and December 2000, 33 patients underwent 35 operations for gastric stromal tumors. Laparoscopic resections were performed in 21 patients; open resections were done in 12 patients. The medical records of the patients were reviewed retrospectively with regard to operating time, blood loss, length of stay, and clinical course.


Patient demographics, tumor characteristics (mean tumor size, benign vs malignant), and presenting symptoms were similar for both groups. In the laparoscopic group, 15 wedge resections; three partial gastrectomies, and three transgastric needlescopic enucleations were performed. In the open group, six vedge resections, four antrectomies, and two partial proximal gastrectomies were performed. There were no significant differences in mean operative time (169 vs 160 min), mean estimated blood loss (106 vs 129 cc), or perioperative complication rate (9.5% vs 8.3%) between the laparoscopic and open groups, respectively. The mean length of stay was significantly less (p<0.05) in the laparoscopic group (3.8 vs 6.2 days). Average follow-up was 1.5 years. One patient in each group has died due to metastastic disease. There have been no trocar site recurrences.


Laparoscopic resection of gastric stromal tumors is safe and appropriate. Tumor size, operating time, and estimated blood loss were equivalent to the open approach, and there was a statistically shorter hospital stay in the laparoscopic group.

Key words

Gastric surgery Stromal tumors Laparoscopy Flexible endoscopy Stomach 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. D. Matthews
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. M. Walsh
    • 1
    • 2
  • K. W. Kercher
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. F. Sing
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. L. Pratt
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. A. Answini
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. T. Heniford
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryCarolinas Medical CenterCharlotteUSA
  2. 2.The Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA

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