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Outcomes of laparoscopic primary gastrectomy with curative intent for gastric perforation: experience from a single surgeon

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Gastric cancer perforation is rare and difficult to distinguish from gastric ulcer perforation before surgery. Peritonitis caused by gastric perforation requires emergency surgery. The optimal surgical strategy for gastric perforation has not been established.

Material and methods

Data from 43 patients who underwent primary gastrectomy with curative intent for gastric perforation between June 2010 and November 2019 were reviewed. Patients were classified into gastric ulcer and gastric cancer groups. Early surgical outcomes and overall survival were assessed.


There were no significant differences in clinical characteristics between the two groups except regarding preoperative shock. Laparoscopic gastrectomy was performed in 35 of 43 patients. There were no conversions to open surgery. The surgical findings demonstrated that the gastric cancer group had larger mass lesions with significantly larger perforations than did the gastric ulcer group. There were no significant differences in early surgical outcomes. Severe postoperative complications occurred in nine patients, five of whom died within one month of surgery. The majority of patients (90%) had stage III or IV gastric cancer. The 5-year survival rate was 19.5%.


We found no definitive differences in clinical characteristics distinguishing gastric cancer from ulcers. Considering our surgical outcomes, laparoscopic primary gastrectomy performed by an expert is a useful technique for emergency gastric perforation. However, unless an expert is available, caution should be used when selecting laparoscopic primary gastrectomy with curative intent as a surgical method.

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Correspondence to Min Gyu Kim.

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None of the authors (Hyung Suk Kim, Jun Ho Lee, or Min Gyu Kim) has any conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Approval was obtained from the Institutional Review Board of Hanyang University Guri Hospital of Korea, College of Medicine.

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Kim, H.S., Lee, J.H. & Kim, M.G. Outcomes of laparoscopic primary gastrectomy with curative intent for gastric perforation: experience from a single surgeon. Surg Endosc 35, 4206–4213 (2021).

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