Prospective randomized study of two laparotomy incisions for gastrectomy: midline incision versus transverse incision
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We performed a randomized study to evaluate the differences between upper midline incision and transverse incision for gastrectomy.
Patients undergoing distal gastrectomy or total gastrectomy for gastric cancer were randomly allocated to have either an upper midline incision or a transverse incision. The times taken to open and close the abdominal cavity, the number of doses of postoperative analgesics, and the incidence of postoperative pneumonia, wound infection, and intestinal obstruction were compared between the patients having the two incisions.
Times for both opening and closing the abdominal cavity were longer with a transverse incision, in both the distal gastrectomy group and total gastrectomy group. In the patients in whom continuous epidural analgesia was used postoperatively, the number of additional doses of analgesics was smaller in the transverse-incision group after distal gastrectomy. The incidence of postoperative pneumonia was lower in the transverse-incision group after distal gastrectomy. The number of patients with postoperative intestinal obstruction was smaller in the transverse-incision group than in the midline-incision group after distal gastrectomy. In contrast to distal gastrectomy, there was no significant difference in the number of doses of postoperative analgesics, incidence of postoperative pneumonia, or incidence of postoperative intestinal obstruction between the two study groups after total gastrectomy.
A transverse incision for distal gastrectomy may be more beneficial than an upper midline incision in attenuating postoperative wound pain, decreasing the incidence of postoperative pneumonia, and preventing postoperative intestinal obstruction.