This study introduces a novel technique for liver retraction during laparoscopic gastrectomy and assesses its impact on postoperative recovery. This study included 139 patients in whom Nelaton catheters (n=57) or Nathanson retractors (n=82) were used for liver retraction. Serum liver enzyme levels were measured preoperatively and on the first, second, third, fifth, and seventh postoperative days. Clinicopathologic features and postoperative recovery variables between the 2 groups were compared. The aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and C-reactive protein levels were significantly lower (P<0.001, P<0.001, and P=0.007, respectively), and the day of first flatus, the day of initiating a soft diet, and the length of hospital stay were shorter in the Nelaton catheter U-shaped retractor group than those seen in the Nathanson retractor group (P=0.035, P=0.002, and P=0.024, respectively). Atraumatic liver retraction with Nelaton catheters is recommended in laparoscopic gastrectomy.