Over the last decade, gastric cancer treatment has changed from extensive multiorgan resections towards less invasive approaches with limited resections and a more selective lymphadenectomy. Despite all available trials, the conclusions on the extent of necessary resections still remain debatable.
<bold>The aim of the study </bold>was to assess the short term outcomes (morbidity and mortality) of a total gastrectomy depending on the simultaneous splenectomy status.
<bold>Material and methods. </bold>We performed a retrospective analysis of the records of all patients treated with a curative intent using a total gastrectomy for gastric cancer between 1997 and 2003. 49 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Patients were divided into two groups: S(+) gastrectomy with splenectomy group (29 patients) and S(-) total gastrectomy with spleen preservation (20 patients).
<bold>Results. </bold>Survival analysis at one year showed that there was no difference in survival between the two groups (p=0.84). There were six recurrences, one in the group S(+) and five in group S(-) (p>0.05). Dissemination was observed in three patients in group S(-) (p>0.05). Other complications including infectious complications, exenteration, subileus, cardiovascular insufficiency, multiorgan failure were more frequent in the S(+) group (31% v 15%) although the difference was not significant (p=0.17).
<bold>Conclusions. </bold>Splenectomy during gastrectomy for cancer has no statistically significant impact on short-term morbidity and mortality. Even though it does not show benefit in terms of 5-year overall survival rates it might be performed when needed in more advanced cases in properly selected patients (e.g. upper gastric T3/4 gastric cancer)
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