Gallstones are known to occur quite frequently after gastrectomy. Most of the studies about postoperative cholelithiasis have focused on open gastrectomy, whereas laparoscopic gastrectomy has recently gained popularity as a type of minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Hence, the efficacy of MIS in preventing post-gastrectomy gallstone formation remains to be elucidated. This study aimed to evaluate the risk of gallstone formation after MIS for clinical stage I/IIA gastric cancer.
A total of 1166 patients undergoing gastrectomy for clinical stage I/IIA gastric cancer between 2009 and 2016 were included in this study. Gallstones were detected on abdominal ultrasound and/or computed tomography. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine factors associated with postoperative gallstone formation.
Gallstone formation was observed in 174 patients (15%), of whom 22 (2%) experienced symptomatic cholelithiasis. In multivariate analysis, the following were identified as risk factors for post-gastrectomy gallstone formation: open approach with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.670 and a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.110-2.510 (P = 0.014), older age (OR 1.880; 95% CI 1.290-2.730; P < 0.001), high body mass index (OR 1.660; 95% CI 1.140-2.420; P = 0.008), Roux-en-Y (RY) reconstruction (OR 1.770; 95% CI 1.230-2.530; P = 0.002), hepatic branch vagotomy (OR 1.600; 95% CI 1.050-2.440; P = 0.029), and intra-abdominal infectious complications (OR 3.040; 95% CI 1.680-5.490; P < 0.001).
Our study suggested that MIS along with the preservation of the hepatic vagus nerve and non-RY reconstruction could help prevent post-gastrectomy gallstone development.

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