INTRODUCTION: The Nathanson liver retractor (N) has been known to cause postoperative transient liver dysfunction (POTLD) in laparoscopic gastrectomy (LG). To reduce the incidence of POTLD, specifically we added to the retractor the use of a disk (N + D) to reduce the localized pressure, and furthermore repositioned the retractor every 30 minutes (N + D TM) to reduce the liver retraction time. Before and after introducing this retractor, we assessed four consecutive retraction procedures. These included the following disk suspension methods (D), N, N + D, and N + D TM. METHODS: We retrospectively enrolled 85 patients who underwent an LG. In the D, N, N + D, and N + D TM groups, we evaluated the postoperative serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) values. RESULTS: For the D and N groups, the AST value significantly increased from the immediate post-operation time point (IPOT) to the third postoperative day (POD3). Additionally, the ALT value increased from IPOT to POD7. In the N + D group, the only decrease was in the ALT value at IPOT compared to the N group. The N + D TM group decreased in both the AST value from IPOT to POD3 and in the ALT value from IPOT to POD7, compared to the N group. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate the importance of reducing both the localized pressure and liver retraction time when using the Nathanson retractor to prevent POTLD during an LG. To make this possible, we successfully introduced the use of both a disk and the repositioning of the retractor at 30 minute intervals.
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