Randomized controlled trials evaluating laparoscopic vs. open distal gastrectomy for gastric cancer in 2016: a trilogy finally!
Within the past twenty years, an unmistakable trend towards minimally-invasive surgical approaches has taken the surgical world by a storm. This growing popularity can be seen in the increased demand for laparoscopic resections of gastric cancer, which is swiftly gaining popularity and evidence-based support worldwide. This technically-demanding yet elegant procedure has largely demonstrated equal or superior results compared to conventional open gastrectomy in short- and long-term, large-scale randomized controlled trials (RCT). Increasing numbers of surgeons—especially those in the highly afflicted nations of Japan, China, and Korea—heavily rely on this medium in the surgical management of early and locally advanced gastric cancer patients. A non-exhaustive list of commonly observed benefits includes significantly reduced blood loss, shorter postoperative hospital stay, and improved quality-of-life outcomes (1-3).