• Recent studies suggest an improved survival in patients who undergo radical lymph node dissection for the curative treatment of gastric carcinoma. We have undertaken a retrospective review to compare morbidity and mortality between patients who underwent radical lymph node dissection and those who underwent resections of lesser scope. Of the surgically related events compared, only the amount of postoperative abdominal drainage was significantly different in the group that underwent radical lymph node dissection Forty-four percent of patients who underwent radical lymph node dissection and 35% of patients who underwent a procedure of lesser scope developed a major complication. There was also no significant difference in the postoperative death rate, with a total of two 30-day in-hospital deaths (1.1%). Our observations indicate that radical lymph node dissection can be performed as safely as lesser operations for gastric carcinoma, and should not be avoided because of the fear of complications.
(Arch Surg. 1991;126:1469-1473)