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Long-term functional outcomes of laparoscopic resection for gastric gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

INTRODUCTION: Laparoscopic resection is rapidly becoming the treatment of choice for small- to medium-sized gastric gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). While long-term oncologic data are available, quality of life outcomes are less known.

METHODS: Our IRB-approved prospectively maintained database was retrospectively queried (2003-2013) for patients who underwent laparoscopic gastric GIST resection. Demographics along with perioperative and oncologic outcomes were collected and analyzed. Patients were contacted and asked to complete a quality of life survey consisting of Likert scales scored from 1 to 5. Patients also completed the Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index (GIQLI).

RESULTS: A total of 69 patients were identified and 36 patients (59.0% of eligible patients) responded to the survey. Median follow-up was 39 months. Patients most commonly reported no change in weight, appetite, early satiety, heartburn, persistent cough, dysphagia, and reflux medication dosing postoperatively. The median scores for chest pain and regurgitation were 4, falling in the "worsened" range. 8.33% of patients reported worsened chest pain and 11.11% of patients reported worsened regurgitation postoperatively. The GIQLI scores had a mean of 126.9 (range 77-141).

CONCLUSION: While some patients reported a worsening in early satiety, most patients reported no change in symptoms postoperatively, and the GIQLI scores remained within the normal range. Laparoscopic resection of gastric GIST provides durable results with minimal effect on longer-term quality of life.

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