Background: Our aim was to determine the frequency, survival and symptomatic local recurrence rate of patients with a positive proximal resection margin in a series of patients having a resection for carcinoma of the oesophagus or stomach. Methods: A retrospective study of pathology reports and case notes. Survival and data on local recurrence were obtained from the patient or general practitioner. Results: Ten (11.5%) of 87 patients having a gastric or oesophageal resection for carcinoma had a positive proximal resection margin. All 10 patients underwent a palliative resection for late-stage disease. Nine were dead at an average 8.3 months (range 2-20 months) post-resection and one patient remains alive at 9 months. Only one of these 10 patients had evidence of a local recurrence with recurrent dysphagia prior to death at 11 months. Conclusion: A high incidence of a positive proximal resection margin was found. This occurred in patients who underwent a palliative resection for late-stage disease, most of whom died before local recurrence became a problem. For patients recognized as having late-stage disease, surgery for symptom palliation need not be aggressive (such as to include a thoracotomy) because achieving microscopic clearance is unlikely to affect the long-term outcome.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 1996|
- Gastric carcinoma
- Oesophageal carcinoma
- Proximal resection margin