Surgical strategy for gastric gastrointestinal stromal tumors: laparoscopic vs. open resection
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Because wide resections and extensive lymphadenectomies are usually not required, the laparoscopic approach has been considered reasonable for gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) of gastric origin and has been reported with increased frequency. However, its long-term oncologic outcome has not been fully assessed.
We reviewed 67 consecutive patients who underwent laparoscopic (LAP) or traditional open (OPEN) resection of gastric GISTs from January 1993 to May 2004.
There were 39 LAP and 28 OPEN cases. One LAP case was converted to open (2.6%). Patients in both groups had comparable backgrounds. Tumor location, size, and risk classification were similar. There was no difference in operating time and blood loss. Five patients (one in LAP and four in OPEN) showed recurrence and/or metastases after a median followup period of 26 months. Tumor enucleation resulted in a higher recurrence rate in both groups: one after three enucleations in LAP and two after six in OPEN. In cases with tumors that were larger than 5 cm, laparoscopic manipulation became technically challenging, although no recurrence was noted in this subgroup. Overall recurrence rate was comparable in the two groups.
Laparoscopic surgery is oncologically justified for gastric GISTs, while its indication should be carefully discussed for cases with bulky and high-risk tumors. Tumor enucleations should be avoided whichever approach (open/laparoscopic) is selected.