Objective: This retrospective study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and safety of intraoperative assessment of anastomotic blood supply in patients undergoing esophagojejunostomy or esophagogastrostomy for gastric cancer using Indocyanine Green Fluorescence Imaging (IGFI).

Materials and methods: From January 2019 to October 2021, we conducted a retrospective analysis of patients who had undergone laparoscopic gastrectomy for the treatment of gastric cancer. The patients were consecutively enrolled and categorized into two study groups: the Indocyanine Green Fluorescence Imaging (IGFI) group consisting of 86 patients, and the control group comprising 92 patients. In the IGFI group, intravenous administration of Indocyanine Green (ICG) was performed, and we utilized a fluorescence camera system to assess anastomotic blood supply both before and after the anastomosis.

Results: The demographic characteristics of patients in both groups were found to be comparable. In the IGFI group, the mean time to observe perfusion fluorescence was 26.3 ± 12.0 seconds post-ICG injection, and six patients needed to select a more proximal resection point due to insufficient fluorescence at their initial site of choice. Notably, the IGFI group exhibited a lower incidence of postoperative anastomotic leakage, with no significant disparities observed in terms of pathological outcomes, postoperative recovery, or other postoperative complication rates when compared to the control group (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: This study underscores the potential of IGFI as a dependable and pragmatic tool for the assessment of anastomotic blood supply following esophagojejunostomy or esophagogastrostomy for gastric cancer. The use of IGFI may potentially reduce the occurrence of postoperative anastomotic leakage.


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