Devascularization of the lower esophagus and the upper stomach is one method of treating patients with clinically significant gastric varices. We describe a new method of laparoscopically-assisted devascularization which has been applied in seven patients with esophagogastric varices. Three of the seven patients had an episode of gastric variceal bleeding, and the remaining four had moderate to large gastric varices with red color signs. The operative procedure was carried out without pneumoperitoneum by using an ordinary forceps and laparoscopic instruments through a small skin incision (3-5cm); the ab-dominal wall was elevated with a U-shaped retractor. The operative field was obtained by laparoscopic and direct vision illuminated by laparoscopic light. The procedure time ranged from 100 to 180 minutes with minimal blood loss (70-320g). No complications were encountered. All patients could be discharged within one week; postoperative pain was minimal and all patients returned to work early. Follow-up (mean 11.4 months) showed no recurrence of gastric varices although, due to an incomplete procedure in two cases, two patients were treated additionally by endoscopic injection of histoacryl.
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