Background: Compared with open standard gastrectomy (OG), laparoscopic gastrectomy (LG) did not result in inferior disease-free survival for early-stage and locally advanced gastric cancer (AGC). However, whether LG for AGC in elderly patients is more beneficial than OG is unclear. Methods: This study examined 458 patients with AGC. The mortality, morbidity, and prognosis were compared by age, gender, T and N factors, and pathological stage in the LG and OG groups using propensity score matching analysis. For the final analysis, 151 pairs of patients were selected from at each group. Results: The results showed that no significant difference in mortality and morbidity existed between the two groups. The 5-year relapse-free survival (RFS) rates were 70% and 62% in the LG and OG groups, respectively (p = 0.104). The 5-year RFS rates in patients with pathological stages I, II, and III who had undergone LG were 84%, 80%, and 55%, respectively, and 78%, 70%, and 45%, respectively, in those who had undergone OG (p < 0.005). The 5-year RFS rates in nonelderly patients who underwent LG or OG were 75% and 68%, respectively, and 58% and 40%, respectively, in elderly patients who underwent LG or OG (p < 0.005). Conclusion: The 5-year RFS rates in patients with AGC at each stage did not significantly differ between LG and OG. However, the benefits at 5-year RFS in patients who underwent LG compared with OG were larger in elderly patients than those in nonelderly patients.
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