Determining resection margins for gastric cancer, which are not exposed to the serosal surface of the stomach, is the most important procedure during totally laparoscopic gastrectomy (TLG). The aim of this protocol is to introduce a procedure for intraoperative gastroscopy, in order to directly mark tumors during TLG for gastric cancer in the middle third of the stomach. Patients who were diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in the middle third of the stomach were enrolled in this case series. Before surgery, additional gastroscopy for tumor localization is not performed. Under general anesthesia, laparoscopic mobilization of the stomach is performed first. After the first portion of the duodenum is mobilized from the pancreas and clamped, the surgeon moves to the other side for the gastroscopic procedure. On the insertion of a gastroscope through the oral cavity into the stomach, 2 - 3 cc of indigo carmine is administered via an endoscopic injector into the gastric muscle layer at the proximal margin of the stomach. The location of stained serosa in the laparoscopic view is used to guide distal subtotal gastrectomy, however, total gastrectomy is performed if the tumor is too close to the esophagogastric junction. A specimen is sampled after distal gastrectomy to confirm sufficient length from resection margin to tumor before reconstruction. In our case series, all patients had tumor-free margins and required no additional resection. There was no morbidity related to the gastroscopic procedure, and the time required for the procedure has gradually decreased to about five minutes. Intraoperative gastroscopy for tumor localization is an accurate and tolerated method for gastric cancer patients undergoing totally laparoscopic distal gastrectomy.
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