AIM: To describe the learning curves of hand-assisted laparoscopic D2 radical gastrectomy (HALG) for the treatment of gastric cancer.
METHODS: The HALG surgical procedure consists of three stages: surgery under direct vision via the port for hand assistance, hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery, and gastrointestinal tract reconstruction. According to the order of the date of surgery, patients were divided into 6 groups (A-F) with 20 cases in each group. All surgeries were performed by the same group of surgeons. We performed a comprehensive and in-depth retrospective comparative analysis of the clinical data of all patients, with the clinical data including general patient information and intraoperative and postoperative observation indicators.
RESULTS: There were no differences in the basic information among the patient groups (P > 0.05). The operative time of the hand-assisted surgery stage in group A was 8-10 min longer than the other groups, with the difference being statistically significant (P = 0.01). There were no differences in total operative time between the groups (P = 0.30). Postoperative intestinal function recovery time in group A was longer than that of other groups (P = 0.02). Lengths of hospital stay and surgical quality indicators (such as intraoperative blood loss, numbers of detected lymph nodes, intraoperative side injury, postoperative complications, reoperation rate, and readmission rate 30 d after surgery) were not significantly different among the groups.
CONCLUSION: HALG is a surgical procedure that can be easily mastered, with a learning curve closely related to the operative time of the hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery stage.