Purpose: Carcinoma of the gallbladder is an aggressive, late-symptomatic disease and most patients are treated at an advanced stage, and these patients have a poor prognosis. During recent years, extended operations that combine a resection of the liver with wide lymph node dissection have improved the long-term survival. The aim of this study is to evaluate the surgical outcome for gallbladder carcinoma based on the presence of lymph node metastasis and the depth of the primary tumor invasion. Methods: A retrospective analysis was done on 68 patients who underwent a surgical resection of gallbladder carcinoma from 1997 to 2004. The factors that influenced the 5-year survival were examined. Results: The overall 5-year survival rate was 49.6%. The lymph node metastasis rate was 40.0% in T2 disease and 61.1% in T3/T4 disease. The 5-year survival rate (5-YSR) for T2 disease was 52.1% for the patients who underwent cholecystectomy with lymph node dissection and hepatic resection, and it was 51.2% for the patients who underwent only simple cholecystectomy. The 5-YSR for T3/T4 disease was 33.3% for the patients who underwent extended cholecystectomy, and it was 12.9% for the palliative cholecystectomy patients. Conclusion: The role of radical surgery seems to be limited for patients with more extensive tumor invasion or lymph node metastasis.
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