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The aim of the study was to compare the clinical symptoms between Billroth II (B-II) and Roux-en-Y (R-Y) reconstruction after distal subtotal gastrectomy (DG) for gastric cancer.Surgery is the mainstay of curative treatment for gastric cancer. The technique for reconstruction after DG remains controversial. Both B-II and R-Y are popular methods.This is a prospective multicenter randomized controlled trial. From October 2008 to October 2014, 162 patients who underwent DG were randomly allocated to B-II (n = 81) and R-Y (n = 81) groups. The primary endpoint is Gastrointestinal (GI) Symptoms Score 1 year after surgery. We also compared the nutritional status, extent of gastritis on endoscopy, and quality of life after surgery between the 2 procedures at 1 year.Operative time was significantly shorter for B-II than for R-Y [mean difference 21.5 minutes, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 3.8–39.3, P = 0.019]. The B-II and R-Y groups had a peri-operative morbidity of 28.4% and 33.8%, respectively (P = 0.500) and a 30-day mortality of 2.5% and 1.2%, respectively (P = 0.500). GI symptoms score did not differ between R-Y versus B-II reconstruction (mean difference -0.45, 95% CI -1.21 to 0.31, P = 0.232). R-Y resulted in a lower median endoscopic grade for gastritis versus B-II (mean difference -1.32, 95% CI -1.67 to -0.98, P < 0.001). We noted no difference in nutritional status (R-Y versus B-II mean difference -0.31, 95% CI -3.27 to 2.65, P = 0.837) and quality of life at 1 year between the 2 groups too.Although BII is associated with a higher incidence of heartburn symptom and higher median endoscopic grade for gastritis, BII and RY are similar in terms of overall GI symptom score and nutritional status at 1 year after distal gastrectomy.