Functional and nutritional outcomes after gastric cancer surgery

Masahiro Tsujiura, Souya Nunobe


Recent improvements in diagnostic techniques and national screening programs have resulted in increasing number of patients diagnosed with early gastric cancer (EGC). The low incidence rate of lymph node metastasis and excellent survival rates after surgical treatment for EGC enabled the reduction in the extent of lymphadenectomy and the range of gastric resection for function-preserving gastrectomy. Thus, the quality of life (QOL) of patients with gastric cancer (GC) in the curative stage can be maintained. Moreover, these function-preserving procedures have been widely performed by less invasive procedures, such as laparoscopic and robotic approaches. Pylorus-preserving gastrectomy (PPG) and proximal gastrectomy (PG) represent the two main function-preserving surgical procedures for GC. PPG is an alternative to distal gastrectomy (DG) for cT1 N0 EGC located in the middle part of the stomach. Preservation of the pyloric function is expected to prevent post-gastrectomy syndromes such as dumping syndrome. PG is an alternative to total gastrectomy (TG) and can thus be performed for cT1 N0 EGC located in the upper part of the stomach. Preservation of the residual stomach is expected to work as a reservoir for ingested food. The optimal reconstruction method after PG among the three most commonly performed procedures (esophagogastrostomy, jejunal interposition, and double-tract reconstruction) remains controversial. In addition to these three reconstruction methods, the novel double-flap technique (DFT) of esophagogastrostomy has gained attention recently because of its potential usefulness to prevent postoperative esophageal reflux. In this review article, we summarize the current evidence of PPG and PG with esophagogastrostomy by the DFT, focusing on postoperative nutrition and QOL.