J Gastric Cancer.  2020 Jun;20(2):176-189. 10.5230/jgc.2020.20.e17.

Advantages of Distal Subtotal Gastrectomy over Total Gastrectomy in the Quality of Life of Long-Term Gastric Cancer Survivors

  • 1Gastric Cancer Center, Kyungpook National University Chilgok Hospital, Daegu, Korea
  • 2Department of Surgery, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Korea


This study evaluated differences and shifting patterns in the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of 5-year gastric cancer survivors after either a distal subtotal gastrectomy (DSG) or total gastrectomy (TG).
Materials and Methods
We analyzed the prospectively collected HRQoL data of 528 patients who survived 5 years without recurrence using the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Core Quality of Life Questionnaire and the EORTC Quality of Life Questionnaire-Stomach module according to the type of surgery. The purpose was to identify the proportion of patients with deteriorating HRQoL and to assess the clinical significance of these changes.
Deteriorating HRQoL was prevalent in both groups, including a large proportion of the DSG group. Decreased overall health status and scores on several function scales were less in the DSG group, while increases on the symptom scales were higher in the TG group. For most of the scales, gaps in HRQoL during the early postoperative period did not merge within the 5 years. Scores on the diarrhea and body image scales revealed “moderate changes” in both groups.
During the 5-year period after surgery, the TG group suffered from inferior HRQoL compared to the DSG group. However, a large proportion of the DSG group also suffered HRQoL deterioration. In general, the TG group experienced more HRQoL decline, with diarrhea and body image being the major concerns for both groups. To improve HRQoL after gastrectomy, patients must be better informed about post-gastrectomy symptoms. These symptoms must be vigorously investigated, and medical interventions should be available parallel to nutritional support. Favorable evidence of function-preserving gastrectomy should be established and disseminated to improve the HRQoL of early gastric cancer patients.


Quality of life; Stomach neoplasms; Gastrectomy
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