Background: Although laparoscopic gastrectomy has been recognized as a treatment of early gastric cancer, the indication for laparoscopic gastrectomy with D2 lymph node dissection has remained controversial. D2 lymph node dissection is considered to be feasible for advanced gastric cancer in some high-volume institutions specifically trained for the laparoscopic procedure. This study was undertaken to determine the clinical outcome and clinicopathological characteristics of patients who showed recurrence following laparoscopic gastrectomy for advanced gastric cancer. Methods: From August 1999 through February 2009, among 805 patients who underwent laparoscopic gastrectomy associated with regional lymph node dissection, a total of 209 patients undergoing gastrectomy associated with lymph node dissection who consequently obtained complete resection for advanced gastric cancer were subjected to the retrospective analysis to evaluate clinical outcome. Results: The mean period of postoperative observation was 1,068 days. The final stages of the 209 cases were as follows: 83 in IB, 56 in II, 46 in IIIA, and 24 in IIIB. The 5-year survival rate was 89.1% in stage IB, 93.1% in stage II, 52.5% in stage IIIA, and 46.5% in stage IIIB, respectively. A total of 27 patients (12.9%) had recurrence. Postoperative recurrence of gastric carcinoma occurred in peritoneal dissemination in 13 patients, liver in 7, distant lymph nodes in 6, ovary in 3, lung in 2, skin in 1, and meninges in 1 patient. There were neither port-site metastases nor locoregional recurrence. Conclusion: The characteristics and the rate of postoperative recurrence after laparoscopic gastrectomy for advanced gastric cancer were not greatly different from those of the open conventional procedure. Although further observation is required to finally conclude long-term survival, laparoscopic radical gastrectomy may possibly be indicated for patients with advanced gastric cancer.
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