INTRODUCTION: Laparoscopic partial gastrectomy has become a common procedure for gastric submucosal tumors because of its accepted feasibility, safety, and oncologic outcomes. However, long-term postoperative outcomes have not been determined, especially based on the location of submucosal tumors.
METHODS: We reviewed 52 consecutive gastric submucosal tumor patients who underwent laparoscopic partial gastrectomy between 1999 and 2009. They were divided into a lesser curvature group (LC group, n = 23) and a greater curvature group (GC group, n = 26) according to tumor location. We compared the following postoperative data about gastric function between the two groups: (i) body weight change during the first postoperative year; (ii) gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. abdominal pain/discomfort, bloating, heartburn, and dyspepsia); (iii) the amount of food residue at endoscopy; and (iv) the need for medications such as histamine H2 -receptor antagonists, proton pump inhibitors, and prokinetic drugs.
RESULTS: Only a few patients - one in the LC group and two in the GC group - showed body weight loss (over 10%). Compared to the GC group (n = 0 in all three categories), the LC group showed significantly higher frequency of prolonged postoperative abdominal symptoms (n = 4, P = 0.042), food residue at endoscopic follow-up (n = 4, P = 0.036), and postoperative medication use (n = 5, P = 0.016).
CONCLUSION: Patients who received laparoscopic partial gastrectomy did not have severe body weight loss, which suggests dysfunction of the gastric remnant. However, patients in the LC group should receive special attention, as they have a higher risk of developing postoperative gastrointestinal symptoms.
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