Background: Based on the sentinel node (SN) concept, function-preserving surgery with SN basin dissection (SNBD) can be performed for SN-negative early gastric cancers. Particularly, a resection area can be minimized when the SN basin and primary site are closely localized. The aim of this study was to compare probabilities of being candidates for local resection with SNBD based on tumor location among patients with early gastric cancer. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 358 patients who underwent surgery with SN mapping for gastric cancer in our institution from November 1999 to April 2014. The proportion of patients who had a localized single basin and the distributions of the SN basins and primary sites were investigated. Patients with single basin drainage excluding remote sentinel node basin were considered as candidates for local resection with SNBD. Results: Of the 358 patients, 191 (53%) patients were considered eligible for local resection with SNBD. Patients with tumors located in the upper third of the stomach were more likely candidates for local resection than those with tumors in other locations (upper third, 68%; middle third, 50%; and lower third, 51%), whereas patients with tumors located in the anterior wall were less likely candidates than those with tumors other locations (anterior wall, 31%; posterior wall, 58%; greater curvature, 55%; and lesser curvature, 57%). Conclusion: We found that > 50% of the patients indicated for SN navigation surgery, particularly those with tumors in the upper third of the stomach, potentially could undergo partial resection with SNBD.
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