Purpose Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) should be surgically resected, even those smaller than 5 cm in size, which is the threshold of clinical malignancy for submucosal tumors (SMTs) in the gastrointestinal tract. This study reviewed the use of laparoscopic surgery for gastric partial resection of GISTs or SMTs that were suspected to be GISTs. Methods Eighteen patients underwent laparoscopic partial resection of the stomach for GISTs or SMTs. The tumor location was confirmed by intraluminal endoscopy. One-half of the circumference around the tumor was dissected, and the tumor was turned toward the abdominal cavity. The nonresected part of the tumor and the edge of the incision line was lifted up using forceps, and the incision line was closed using laparoscopic stapling devices. Results Two cases were diagnosed as GIST by endoscopic biopsy. Six patients underwent endoscopic ultrasound- guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy (EUS-FNAB) examinations, which diagnosed five GISTs. There were 18 tumors smaller than 5 cm, including 10 GISTs, 4 leiomyomas, 3 schwannomas, and one heterotopic pancreas. Conclusions Endoscopic ultrasound-guided FNAB is recommended for definite preoperative diagnosis of histopathologically unknown SMTs to determine the indications for surgery. The laparoscopic approach with the assistance of endoscopy is useful for improving the curability, with minimal invasiveness for the partial resection of GISTs.
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