Feasibility and Safety of Early Oral Intake and Discharge After Total or Proximal Gastrectomy: An Analysis of Consecutive Cases Without Exclusion Criteria

  • Masatoshi NakagawaEmail author
  • Masanori Tokunaga
  • Tomoki Aburatani
  • Yuya Sato
  • Takatoshi Matsuyama
  • Yasuaki Nakajima
  • Yusuke Kinugasa
Gastrointestinal Oncology



Postoperative feeding is administered relatively early in gastric surgery, especially distal gastrectomy, but its feasibility and safety for proximal gastric surgery remains unclear.


We retrospectively analyzed 91 consecutive patients who underwent total or proximal gastrectomy between 2014 and 2019. Baseline and perioperative results were prospectively recorded in our dataset. In our clinical pathway, sips of water and a soft diet were allowed on postoperative days 1 and 3. Discharge was set at days 6–8, and clinical pathway completion was defined as discharge by postoperative day 8.


Median patient age was 69 years, and 25 patients (27%) were aged ≥ 75 years. Fifty-nine patients (65%) had comorbidities. Esophageal involvement occurred in 12 patients (13%), and there were 28 cases (31%) of pathological stage IA. The open approach was applied in 22 patients (24%), laparoscopy was applied in 53 patients (58%), and the robotic approach was applied in 16 patients (18%). Total gastrectomy was performed in 56 patients (62%) and proximal gastrectomy was performed in 35 patients (38%). Overall and severe (Clavien–Dindo grade III or higher) complications occurred in 24 (26%) and 9 (10%) patients, respectively. There were four cases (4%) of esophagojejunal leakage (three with esophagogastric junction cancer, one with long-term corticosteroid use). Clinical pathway completion was achieved in 66 patients (73%), with readmission of five cases (5%).


Early feeding and discharge for total or proximal gastrectomy is feasible and safe as long as it is carefully applied to high-risk patients, but we must be aware of the relatively higher readmission rate of this patient group.



This study was supported by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) under Grant Number 18ck0106310h0002.


Masatoshi Nakagawa, Masanori Tokunaga, Tomoki Aburatani, Yuya Sato, Takatoshi Matsuyama, Yasuaki Nakajima, and Yusuke Kinugasa declare they have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masatoshi Nakagawa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Masanori Tokunaga
    • 1
  • Tomoki Aburatani
    • 1
  • Yuya Sato
    • 1
  • Takatoshi Matsuyama
    • 1
  • Yasuaki Nakajima
    • 1
  • Yusuke Kinugasa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gastrointestinal SurgeryTokyo Medical and Dental UniversityTokyoJapan

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