Author(s): Dexter SP, Martin IG, McMahon MJ
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Much of the morbidity of conventional esophagectomy for cancer is thought to relate to the thoracotomy wound and while transhiatal esophagectomy removes the need for a thoracotomy, it is not oncologically sound. Videothoracoscopy could potentially provide an oncologically sound means for resecting the thoracic esophagus without the need for a thorcotomy. METHODS: Between June 1991 and June 1994, thoracoscopic mobilization of the thoracic esophagus combined with radical lymphadenectomy was attempted in 24 patients as part of three-stage esophagectomy for cancer (5 squamous and 19 adenocarcinomas). Mean age was 59 years (range 43-76). Eight patients were ASA grade I, 10 were ASA II, and 6 ASA III. Two patients had early lesions (T1N0) but all other cancers were T2 or T3. Dissection of the thoracic esophagus was attempted via a right-sided approach, followed by a laparotomy and a cervical incision. RESULTS: The thoracoscopic procedure was successful in 22 patients; it was abandoned in one patient with dense pleural adhesions and in another with inoperable tumor. Mean duration of the thoracic component was 184 min(120-330). There were three post-operative deaths. Ten further patients had major complications. Median post-operative stay was 18 days(9-129). Mean node harvest was 13 nodes(6-28). Two-year survival (cancer specific) was 33\%. CONCLUSIONS: Radical thoracoscopic mobilization of the esophagus is feasible, but the potential for complications remains high and requires further study.
This article was published in Surg Endosc
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy