Background: Higher morbidity in total gastrectomy than in distal gastrectomy has been reported, but laparoscopic subtotal gastrectomy (LsTG) has been reported to be safe and feasible in early gastric cancer (GC). We determined the surgical, nutritional and oncological outcomes of LsTG for advanced gastric cancer (AGC). Methods: Of the 816 consecutive patients with GC who underwent radical gastrectomy at our institution between 2008 and 2012, 253 who underwent curative laparoscopic gastrectomy (LG) for AGC were enrolled. LsTG was indicated for patients with upper stomach third tumors, who hoped to avoid total gastrectomy, <4 cm to the esophagogastric junction and a 2-cm proximal margin with cut end negative in frozen section, whereas laparoscopic conventional distal gastrectomy (LcDG) and laparoscopic total gastrectomy (LTG) were performed otherwise. Surgical outcomes and postoperative nutritional status were primarily assessed. Results: Of 253 patients, the morbidity (Clavien–Dindo classification grade ≥ III) was 17.0% (43 patients). The 3-year overall survival and 3-year recurrence-free survival rates were 80.2 and 73.5%, respectively. LcDG, LsTG and LTG were performed in 121, 27 and 105 patients, individually. Morbidity was strongly associated with LTG (P = 0.001). Postoperative loss of body weight was significantly greater after LTG in comparison with LcDG or LsTG (P < 0.001). No difference in morbidity and postoperative loss of body weight were observed between LcDG and LsTG group. Conclusions: LG for AGC was feasible and safe surgically and oncologically. LsTG for AGC may be safer than LTG from surgical and postoperative nutritional point of view.
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