Background: For proximal gastric cancer invading the greater curvature, concomitant splenectomy is frequently performed to secure the clearance of lymph node metastases. However, prognostic impact of prophylactic splenectomy remains unclear. The aim of this study was to clarify the oncological significance of prophylactic splenectomy for advanced proximal gastric cancer invading the greater curvature. Methods: Retrospective review of 108 patients who underwent total or subtotal gastrectomy for advanced proximal gastric cancer involving the greater curvature was performed. Short-term and long-term outcomes were compared between the patients who underwent splenectomy (n = 63) and those who did not (n = 45). Results: Patients who underwent splenectomy showed higher amount of blood loss (538 vs. 450 mL, p = 0.016) and morbidity rate (30.2 vs. 13.3, p = 0.041) compared with those who did not undergo splenectomy. In particular, pancreas-related complications were frequently observed among patients who received splenectomy (17.4 vs. 0%, p = 0.003). However, no significant improvement of long-term outcomes were confirmed in the cases with splenectomy (5-year recurrence-free rate, 60.2 vs. 67.3%; p = 0.609 and 5-year overall survival rates, 63.7 vs. 73.6%; p = 0.769). On the other hand, splenectomy was correlated with marginally better survival in patients with Borrmann type 1 or 2 gastric cancer (p = 0.072). Conclusions: For advanced proximal gastric cancer involving the greater curvature, prophylactic splenectomy may have no significant prognostic impact despite the increased morbidity rate after surgery. Such surgical procedure should be avoided as long as lymph node involvement is not evident.
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