Background and objectives: The incidence of gastric cancer, in people over 70 years of age, has increased remarkably. Aggressive lymphadenectomy with gastrectomy has been reported to improve survival in patients with gastric cancer. Because complication rates following gastrectomy increase with advancing age, we sought to determine whether this procedure was merited in elderly patients with gastric cancer.
Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of 202 patients who underwent total gastrectomy with extended lymphadenectomy for gastric carcinoma. Postoperative complication rates were compared between patients over and under 70 years of age.
Results: The 10-year survival rates of patients under and over 70 years of age following total gastrectomy with extended lymphadenectomy were not significantly different. Although medical comorbidities in each group were similar, pulmonary dysfunction was significantly more common following total gastrectomy in patients over 70 years than in patients under 70 years. Moreover, logistic regression analysis revealed that patient's age was the only variable that independently correlated with the presence of postoperative complications.
Conclusions: The prognosis of the gastric cancer patients over 70 years of age was similar to that of younger patients after total gastrectomy with extensive lymphadenectomy. However, pulmonary dysfunction was significantly more common in patients over 70 years old.
Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.