Background: Endoscopic submucosal dissection is a novel endoluminal technique that enables resection of early stage gastrointestinal malignancies in an en bloc fashion. Aim: To assess whether preceding endoscopic submucosal dissection affected the prognoses of patients who underwent additional gastrectomy with lymph node dissection due to suspicion of nodal metastasis from endoscopic submucosal dissection specimens. Patients and methods: Thirty-one patients with early gastric cancer who underwent gastrectomy after endoscopic submucosal dissection were retrospectively investigated in terms of their survival and tumour recurrence. Additional gastrectomy was performed when histology of the endoscopic submucosal dissection specimens revealed that the tumours did not meet the criteria for node-negative cancers. Results: Twenty-three (74%) and eight (26%) patients had undergone endoscopic submucosal dissection previously due to clinical diagnoses of node-negative cancers and possible node-positive cancers, respectively. Histology of the resected stomachs and lymph nodes revealed residual carcinoma of the stomach in two (6.5%) patients and nodal metastases in four (13%) patients. All patients remain alive without recurrence (median follow-up, 3.4 years; range, 0.6-5.2 years). Conclusions: Based on the histology of endoscopic submucosal dissection specimens, preceding endoscopic submucosal dissection itself had no negative influence on a patient's prognosis when additional gastrectomy was performed. It may be permissible to resect some early gastric cancers by endoscopic submucosal dissection as a first step to prevent unnecessary gastrectomy, if technically resectable.
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