A Protective Technique for Retraction of the Liver During Laparoscopic Gastrectomy for Gastric Adenocarcinoma: Using a Penrose Drain

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Retraction of the liver is necessary to ensure an adequate working space in laparoscopic surgery, but the retraction force applied may cause transient liver dysfunction. We have introduced the technique using a Penrose drain to suspend the liver with the performance of laparoscopic gastrectomy for gastric adenocarcinoma.


111 patients with gastric adenocarcinoma underwent laparoscopic gastrectomy using either a Penrose drain (n = 47) or a Nathanson’s retractor (n = 64) for displacement of the liver. Serum levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), total bilirubin, alkaline phoshatase (ALP) and albumin were compared among the groups at baseline, immediately after operation, and on postoperative days (POD) 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7.


The levels of ALT on POD 2, 3, and 5 were significant higher in the Nathanson’s retractor group than in the Penrose drain group. Levels of AST on POD 2 and 3 were also higher in the Nathanson’s retractor group than in the Penrose drain group. There was no significant difference in total bilirubin, ALP, and serum albumin levels between groups.


The use of the Penrose drain for retraction of the liver appears to attenuate postoperative liver dysfunction during laparoscopic gastrectomy for gastric adenocarcinoma.

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Correspondence to Toshihiko Shinohara.

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Shinohara, T., Kanaya, S., Yoshimura, F. et al. A Protective Technique for Retraction of the Liver During Laparoscopic Gastrectomy for Gastric Adenocarcinoma: Using a Penrose Drain. J Gastrointest Surg 15, 1043–1048 (2011).

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  • Laparoscopic gastrectomy
  • Stomach neoplasm
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Liver retraction
  • Penrose drain