Combined endoscopic and laparoscopic approach for palliative resection of metastatic melanoma of the stomach

World J Surg Oncol. 2006 Mar 30;4:20. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-4-20.


Background: Metastatic tumours of the stomach present a clinical dilemma for the surgeon. Palliative surgical resection can alleviate symptoms and prolong survival in selected patients. However, previous studies have used open methods of surgical resection with potentially high morbidity and mortality. We describe the use of laparoscopic wedge resection of the stomach for palliative resection of metastatic melanoma to highlight the benefits of this technique.

Case presentation: A 58 year old male was investigated for iron deficiency anaemia while under treatment for pulmonary metastatic malignant melanoma. An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy revealed a 5 cm diameter ulcer on the anterior wall of the stomach, biopsies from the ulcer confirmed metastatic melanoma. Laparoscopic wedge resection of the stomach lesion was performed without complication.

Conclusion: Laparoscopic approach has many benefits and is useful for the palliative resection of rare tumours of the stomach in order to preserve the quality of life. Its use should be considered in selected patients.