Laparoscopic endoscopic cooperative surgery (LECS) for the upper gastrointestinal tract
We developed the laparoscopic and endoscopic cooperative surgery (LECS) technique, which combines endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) and laparoscopic gastric resection to resect gastric submucosal tumors (SMTs). Many researchers have reported LECS to be a feasible technique for gastric submucosal tumor resection regardless of tumor location, including the esophagogastric junction (EGJ). Recently, the Japanese National Health Insurance system approved LECS for insurance coverage, and it is now widely applied for gastric submucosal tumor resection. Initially, we applied LECS to gastric SMTs without ulcerative lesions due to concern about the possibility of tumor cells seeding into the peritoneal cavity, in a procedure termed “classical LECS”. To expand the indication of LECS for gastric epithelial neoplasms, modified LECS procedures such as inverted LECS, non-exposed endoscopic wall-inversion surgery (NEWS), combination of laparoscopic and endoscopic approaches to neoplasia with non-exposure technique (CLEAN-NET), and closed laparoscopic and endoscopic cooperative surgery (closed-LECS) have been developed and applied to patients with gastric epithelial neoplasms. As a future perspective of LECS, we plan to combine the modified LECS procedure and sentinel node (SN) navigation surgery (SNNS) for clinical (c)Stage IA gastric cancer resection. This strategy could be a minimally invasive surgical technique for cStage IA early gastric cancer.