Objective: Roux-en-Y reconstruction with and without jejunal pouch was compared in a randomized controlled trial to identify the optimal reconstruction procedure in terms of quality of life.
Background data: Randomized trials comparing techniques of reconstruction after total gastrectomy have shown controversial results.
Methods: One hundred and thirty-eight patients with gastric cancer were intraoperatively randomized for Roux-en-Y reconstruction with pouch (n = 71) or without pouch (n = 67) after gastrectomy and stratified into curative or palliative resection. Intra- and postoperative complications were recorded. Body weight and quality of life were determined every 6 months with a follow-up of up to 12 years.
Results: Both groups were comparable for age, sex, incidence of concomitant disease, and staging. There were no differences in operative time, postoperative complications, and mortality. Short- and long-term weight loss was similar in both groups. In the first postoperative year, there were no benefits of pouch reconstruction in terms of quality of life, independent of the resection status. In the third, fourth, and fifth year after surgery quality of life was significantly improved for patients with a pouch.
Conclusions: Roux-en-Y pouch reconstruction after gastrectomy is simple to perform and safe. Long-term survivors benefit from pouch reconstruction. Therefore, a pouch is recommended for patients with a good prognosis.