Background: Since its widespread acceptance for the treatment of early gastric cancer, laparoscopic gastrectomy has been gaining popularity as a treatment option for advanced gastric cancer. However, laparoscopic total gastrectomy (LTG) with splenectomy is seldom performed, because of its difficulty of removal of station 10 lymph nodes; splenectomy is technically essential for complete removal of these lymph nodes. The purpose of this study was to describe the details of the LTG procedure and to evaluate the short- and long-term outcomes of LTG with splenectomy. Methods: Of 725 consecutive patients with gastric cancer who underwent laparoscopic gastrectomy with lymph node dissection in our institution from January 1996 to December 2012, 18 consecutive patients who underwent LTG with splenectomy were enrolled in this study. Results: No operative mortality occurred, and the pathological margins were free from cancer cells in all patients. The mean operation time was 388 min (range 324–566 min). The mean volume of blood loss was 45 ml (range 5–347 ml), and the mean number of dissected lymph nodes was 51 (range 40–105). Postoperative morbidity occurred in six patients (33.3 %) (each with grade B postoperative pancreatic fistula, postoperative bleeding, chylous ascites, atelectasis, ileus, and intra-abdominal infection). Five patients (27.8 %) developed recurrence (four in the peritoneum and one in the liver), and the overall 3- and 5-year survival rates were 83.0 and 72.6 %, respectively. Conclusions: Considering the 0 % mortality rate and low rates of postoperative morbidity and locoregional recurrence, LTG with splenectomy is technically and oncologically acceptable. This procedure can be expanded to include advanced gastric cancer, which generally requires splenectomy for lymph node dissection.
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