Background: Completely laparoscopic gastrectomy with intracorporeal anastomosis was introduced to achieve safer anastomosis and smaller scars. Although several reports have shown the feasibility of linear-stapled anastomosis, there are no studies of a large number of patients assessing the long-term complications and functional outcomes.
Methods: This retrospective study included 345 patients who had intended to undergo completely laparoscopic distal or total gastrectomy with linear-stapled anastomosis between September 2005 and January 2012. This study evaluated both the short- and long-term complications, as well as the endoscopic findings, changes in body weight and serum albumin.
Results: Completely laparoscopic gastrectomy was successfully achieved in 342 patients (99.1%). Short-term complications occurred in 59 patients (17.3%). Reconstruction-related complications were observed in 19 patients (5.6%). Three patients with anastomotic leakage required reoperation. No patient experienced anastomotic stenosis over a mean follow-up period of 29.6 months. Two patients underwent an emergency operation for an internal hernia after total gastrectomy. Adhesive intestinal obstruction was observed in 5 patients (1.5%), but all were resolved without surgical intervention. Body weight loss at 2 years after distal and total gastrectomy was 7.2% and 13.9%, which were similar to previous reports of open surgery.
Conclusions: Completely laparoscopic gastrectomy with linear-stapled anastomosis is a feasible choice for gastric cancer patients with some potential long-term advantages such as less anastomotic stenosis and fewer adhesive intestinal obstructions.