Splenectomy during total gastrectomy increases operative morbidity (Nakata et al. in Surgical endoscopy 7:1817–1822, 2015). Establishing a safe approach to laparoscopic splenectomy is one of the most urgent issues in the treatment of proximal advanced gastric cancer, which invades to the greater curvature (Kawamura et al. in Gastric Cancer 3:662–668, 2015). We developed a novel three-step procedure for splenectomy during laparoscopic total gastrectomy (LTG).
Splenectomy consisted of three steps. Step 1 (dorsal approach): The pancreatic tail and spleen were mobilized. This step delineates the dissection plane and the anatomy around the pancreatic tail. Step 2 (suprapancreatic approach): The suprapancreatic peritoneum was incised to fenestrate to the mobilized space. The no. 11d station was dissected. The inferior branch of the splenic artery was exposed. Step 3 (splenic hilum approach): The spleen was lifted up to straighten the splenic hilum. The aim was to prolong the splenic vasculature and enable the surgeon to transect splenic vasculatures easily despite their anatomical diversity. Division of the splenic branches promotes mobility of the pancreatic tail, enabling precise dissection and preservation of its blood supply.
Of 45 patients with gastric cancer who underwent LTG, seven underwent concurrent splenectomy. In all cases, splenectomy was successfully accomplished. The median operation time, duration of splenectomy, blood loss, number of total retrieved lymph nodes, lymph node counts from stations 10 and 11d, and drain amylase levels on the third postoperative day were 382 min, 94 min, 30 ml, 51, 5, 5, and 158 IU/L, respectively. Postoperative morbidity more severe than Clavien-Dindo grade 2 occurred in one case, with no pancreas-related morbidity. No mortality or conversion occurred.
This laparoscopic procedure allows adequate nodal dissection and safe splenectomy.
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Nakata K, Nagai E, Ohuchida K, Shimizu S, Tanaka M. Technical feasibility of laparoscopic total gastrectomy with splenectomy for gastric cancer: clinical short-term and long-term outcomes. Surgical endoscopy 2015;7:1817–1822.
Kawamura Y, Satoh S, Suda K, Ishida Y, Kanaya S, Uyama I. Critical factors that influence the early outcome of laparoscopic total gastrectomy. Gastric Cancer 2015;3:662–668.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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Matsubara, H., Kinjo, Y., Fukugaki, A. et al. A Novel Three-Step Approach for Secure Splenectomy During Laparoscopic Total Gastrectomy for Gastric Cancer. J Gastrointest Surg 23, 1082–1083 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11605-018-4010-8
- Three-step approach
- Gastric cancer
- Laparoscopic total gastrectomy