Background: Splenectomy often is performed simultaneously with total gastrectomy for gastric carcinoma to facilitate dissection of splenic hilar lymph nodes. Splenectomy, however, should be avoided as frequently as possible because of its important role in the reticuloendothelial system and because of its sometimes severe complications. We evaluated the end results of simultaneous splenectomy with total gastrectomy.
Methods: The effect of splenectomy on survival was examined by retrospective analysis of 245 patients undergoing total gastrectomy for gastric carcinoma. Of these, 154 underwent splenectomy, and 91 did not. Prognostic factors for patients undergoing total gastrectomy were determined. The relationship to postoperative complications also was analyzed.
Results: No significant differences overall were found between the 5-year survival of the patients undergoing total gastrectomy with or without splenectomy. No correlation to any prognostic factor was seen with splenectomy. In contrast, splenectomy was independently associated with postoperative complications.
Conclusions: In this retrospective study simultaneous splenectomy at total gastrectomy for gastric cancer did not have an effect on the survival rate of patients undergoing total gastrectomy, and it sometimes caused severe complications.