Author(s): Martin DJ, Bessell JR, Chew A, Watson DI
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: Although surgical resection currently is the preferred treatment for fit patients with resectable esophageal cancers, it is associated with a relatively high risk of morbidity and significant perioperative mortality. Currently, a range of open surgical approaches are used. More recently, minimally invasive approaches have become feasible, with the potential to reduce perioperative morbidity. This study investigated the outcomes from one such approach. METHODS: Outcome data were collected prospectively for 36 consecutive patients who underwent a minimally invasive esophagectomy for esophageal cancer. A three-stage approach was used, with all the patients undergoing a thoracoscopic esophageal mobilization, combined with either open or hand-assisted laparoscopic abdominal gastric mobilization, and open cervical anastomosis. An open abdominal approach was used for 15 of the patients and a hand-assisted laparoscopic approach for 21. A total of 34 patients had invasive malignancy, whereas 2 had preinvasive disease. A group of 23 patients (68\%) who had invasive malignancies also received neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy. RESULTS: The mean operating time ranged from 190 to 360 min (mean, 263 min). The median postoperative hospital stay was 16 days. In-hospital mortality was 5.5\% (2/36), and perioperative morbidity was 41\%. The perioperative outcomes for patients undergoing an open abdominal approach and those who had hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery were similar. For the patients who underwent a hand-assisted laparoscopic abdominal procedure, the total operating time was shorter (248 vs 281 min), and the blood loss was less (223 vs 440 ml). The median follow-up period was 30 months. The 4-year survival predicted by Kaplan-Meir for the 34 patients with invasive malignancy was 44\%. CONCLUSION: The outcome for esophagectomy using thoracoscopic esophageal mobilization, with or without hand-assisted laparoscopic abdominal surgery, was comparable with data from conventional open surgical approaches. These approaches can be performed with an acceptable level of perioperative morbidity. Further application of these techniques, with close scrutiny of outcome data, is appropriate.
This article was published in Surg Endosc
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy