AIM To identify certain clinical factors other than the type of gastrectomy which affect the postoperative quality of life (QOL) of patients after gastrectomy. METHODS The postgastrectomy syndrome assessment scale (PGSAS)-45 was designed to assess the severity of symptoms, the living status and the QOL of gastrectomized patients. It consists of 45 items, of which 22 are original items while 23 were retrieved from the SF-8 and Gastrointestinal Symptoms Rating Scale questionnaires with permission. A nationwide surveillance study to validate PGSAS was conducted and 2368 gastric cancer patients who underwent various types of gastrectomy at 52 medical institutions were enrolled. Of these, 1777 patients who underwent total gastrectomy (TG) reconstructed with Roux-Y (n = 393), distal gastrectomy (DG) reconstructed with Billroth-I (n = 909), or DG reconstructed with Roux-Y (n = 475) were evaluated in the current study. The influence of the type of gastrectomy and other clinical factors such as age, sex, duration after surgery, the symptom severity, the degree of weight loss, dietary intake, and the ability for working on the postoperative QOL (i.e., dissatisfaction for daily life subscale, physical component summary and mental component summary of the SF-8) were examined by multiple regression analysis (MRA). In addition, importance of various symptoms such as esophageal reflux, abdominal pain, meal-related distress, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation and dumping on the postoperative living status and QOL were also appraised by MRA. RESULTS The postoperative QOL were significantly deteriorated in patients who underwent TG compared to those after DG. However, the extent of gastrectomy was not an influential factor on patients' QOL when adjusted by the MRA. Among various clinical factors, the symptom severity, ability for working, and necessity for additional meals were the most influential factors to the postoperative QOL. As for the individual symptoms, meal-related distress, dumping, abdominal pain, and esophageal reflux significantly affected the postoperative QOL in that order, while the influence of indigestion, diarrhea and constipation was insignificant. CONCLUSION Several clinical factors such as the symptom severity (especially in meal-related distress and dumping), ability for working and necessity for additional meals were the main factors which affected the patients' wellbeing after gastrectomy.
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