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Minimally invasive surgery as a treatment option for gastric cancer with liver metastasis: a comparison with open surgery



As minimally invasive techniques advances, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has emerged as an alternative modality for advanced gastric cancer. In this study, we compared the short- and long-term surgical outcomes of MIS and conventional open surgery for gastric cancer liver metastasis (GCLM) in terms of safety, feasibility, and efficacy.


This retrospective study used data from a prospective database at the Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital. From January 2006 to June 2016, 53 gastric cancer patients with synchronous liver metastasis accepted radical gastrectomy combined with either or both hepatectomy and radiofrequency ablation for liver metastases. The 53 patients enrolled in the study were divided into two groups: a conventional open surgery group (n = 42) and an MIS group (n = 11). Propensity score matching (PSM) analysis was performed to overcome possible bias.


With PSM performed at a 1:3 ratio, 11 patients who received MIS were compared with 33 open surgery cases. Mean operation time was significantly longer for the MIS group compared with the open surgery group (301 vs. 236 min, P = 0.032), while the open surgery group had a larger estimated blood loss than the MIS group (421 vs. 196 ml, P = 0.019). Time to first flatus and postoperative complications, including Clavien–Dindo classification, were similar in the two groups. However, patients undergoing MIS had a significantly shorter time to first sips of water (P = 0.020) and soft diet (P = 0.020) compared with open surgery counterparts. Long-term outcomes were comparable between groups (P = 0.090) after adjustment by PSM analysis.


MIS achieved superior short-term outcomes and comparable long-term outcomes compared with open surgery in GCLM patients. For experienced surgeons, both laparoscopic and robotic methods of MIS are reasonable approaches for the management of highly selected GCLM patients.

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The authors are grateful to all the patients who contributed data to this study.

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Correspondence to Bo Wei or Lin Chen.

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Jiyang Li, Hongqing Xi, Jianxin Cui, Kecheng Zhang, Yunhe Gao, Wenquan Liang, Aizhen Cai, Bo Wei, and Lin Chen have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Li, J., Xi, H., Cui, J. et al. Minimally invasive surgery as a treatment option for gastric cancer with liver metastasis: a comparison with open surgery. Surg Endosc 32, 1422–1433 (2018).

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  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Robotics
  • Gastric cancer
  • Liver metastasis