Laparoscopic surgery has been gradually accepted as an option for the surgical treatment ofgastric cancer. There are still points that are controversial or situations that are eventually associated with intra-operative difficulties or postoperative complications.
To establish the relationship between the difficulties during the execution of total gastrectomy and the occurrence of eventual postoperative complications.
The operative protocols and postoperative evolution of 74 patients operated for gastriccancer, who were subjected to laparoscopic total gastrectomy (inclusion criteria) were reviewed. The intraoperative difficulties recorded in the operative protocol and postoperative complications of a surgical nature wereanalyzed (inclusion criteria). Postoperative medical complications were excluded (exclusion criteria). For the discussion, an extensive bibliographical review was carried out.
Intra-operative difficulties or complications reported correspond to 33/74 and of these; 18 events (54.5%) were related to postoperative complications and six were absolutely unexpected. The more frequent were leaks of the anastomosis and leaks of the duodenal stump; however, other rare complications were observed. Seven were managed with conservative measures and 17 (22.9%) required surgical re-exploration, with a postoperative mortality of two patients (2.7%).
We have learned that there are infrequent and unexpected complications; the treating team must be mindful of and, in front of suspicion of complications, anappropriate decision must be done which includes early re-exploration. Finally, after the experience reported, some complications should be avoided.
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