Background: Laparoscopically assisted distal gastrectomy (LADG) with limited lymph node dissection (D1+alpha) has been used to treat a subset of patients with early gastric cancer. Technical advances have expanded indications for LADG to more advanced gastric cancers. However, little data are available on the feasibility or advantages of LADG with standard radical D2 lymph node dissection for patients with gastric cancer.
Methods: This study reviewed the clinical features of 37 patients who underwent LADG with D2 lymph node dissection for preoperatively diagnosed gastric carcinoma, then compared the results with the features of 31 patients who underwent conventional open distal gastrectomy (ODG) with D2 lymph node dissection.
Results: The laparoscopic procedure was not converted to laparotomy in any patient. There was no operative mortality and no serious morbidity among the patients who underwent LADG with D2 lymph node dissection. As compared with the ODG group, the LADG group had less operative blood loss (p < 0.001), earlier recovery of bowel activity (p = 0.012), and a shorter duration of fever after surgery (p = 0.015), despite the longer operation time (p = 0.007).
Conclusions: According to this study, LADG with D2 lymph node dissection is feasible and provides several advantages similar to those of limited lymph node dissection (D1+alpha). Depending on surgeons' technical proficiency, LADG can be used with standard radical lymph node dissection for patients with gastric cancers.