Pilot Series of Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Subtotal Gastrectomy with Extended Lymphadenectomy for Gastric Cancer

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Robotic surgery is evolving as a therapeutic tool for thoracic and urologic applications; however, its use in gastric cancer surgery has not been extensively reported. The objective of this pilot series was to assess the feasibility of using robotic surgery in performing an extended lymphadenectomy for gastric cancer.


Between June 2005 and July 2006, seven patients (3 female, 4 male) underwent combined laparoscopic subtotal gastrectomy with omentectomy and robot-assisted extended lymphadenectomy using the da Vinci® Surgical System for early distal gastric tumors. The mean age of the patients was 64 years. Tumor staging ranged from 0 to II. Six patients had adenocarcinoma and one patient had a high-grade dysplastic adenoma.


All procedures were completed successfully without conversion. The median operating time was 420 min. There was one intraoperative complication requiring a colon resection for a devascularized segment. The median number of nodes harvested was 24 (range = 17–30). Resection margins were negative in all specimens. Patients were hospitalized a median of 4 days (range = 3–9). Thirty-day mortality was 0%. Patients resumed a solid diet a median of 4 days postoperatively. Median followup was 9 (range = 0–10) months. There have been no tumor recurrences to date.


Extended lymphadenectomy for gastric cancer using robotic surgery is safe and allows for an adequate lymph node retrieval. Our preliminary results suggest that this novel technique offers short hospital stays and low morbidity for patients undergoing surgical resection of distal gastric malignancies. Future studies will be necessary to better define the role of robotic surgery in gastric cancer treatment.



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