A Simplified Two-Step Technique for Extended Lymphadenectomy During Resection of Gastroesophageal Malignancy: Early Results Compared to En Bloc Dissection
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Extended lymph node dissection (ELND) remains an important component of curative intent resection of mid-stage gastric cancer (GC). Benefits include enhanced staging accuracy, extending regional disease control, and optimizing potential curability. ELND during gastrectomy remains underutilized in US centers due to a low prevalence of GC operations.
The traditional en bloc ELND was modified into a two-step technique to facilitate greater ease of dissection with better exposure. After completion of the gastrectomy component, retrogastric nodes are dissected in a separate, contiguous specimen. Resulting data were compared to outcomes after en bloc resection.
Of 179 consecutive patients undergoing gastrectomy, 129 underwent an ELND (73%). There were 97 men and 32 women, with a median age of 64 years (range 24–98). The median total LN count was 25 (3–86). The two-step dissection yielded an average of 18.3 (± 8.5 S.D.) perigastric and 12.1 (± 5.8) retrogastric nodes. Two-step LND was associated with lower estimated blood loss (265 vs. 448 ml, p = 0.0005), lower transfusion requirements (6 vs. 28%, p = 0.007), greater mean total LN counts (30 vs. 26, p = 0.03), and a greater rate of obtaining at least 15 or 20 LNs (91 vs. 77% and 83 vs. 65%, p = 0.05). Major morbidity (overall 16%), length of stay, and survival outcomes were not different.
The two-step LND technique as described was found to be associated with favorable operative and postoperative outcome parameters and an excellent LN yield. It can be recommended for standard ELND indications in the absence of macroscopically abnormal LNs.
KeywordsGastric cancer Extended lymphadenectomy D2 dissection Two-step technique
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