JOURNAL ARTICLE

Subtotal esophagectomy with extended 2-field lymph node dissection for thoracic esophageal cancer

Ivan Stilidi, Michail Davydov, Vahan Bokhyan, Elkhan Suleymanov
European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery 2003, 23 (3): 415-20
12614816

OBJECTIVE: To examine the efficacy of the Ivor Lewis esophagectomy with extended 2-field lymph node dissection for thoracic esophageal carcinoma we reviewed our experience.

METHODS: We analyzed the cases of 147 consecutive patients who underwent subtotal esophagectomy with extended 2-field lymph node dissection through Ivor Lewis approach for esophageal cancer from January 1996 through December 2000. Eighty-six patients were operated on for cancer of the midthoracic esophagus, 48 for cancer of the lower thoracic esophagus, and 13 for cancer of the aortal segment of the esophagus. No patient had received chemotherapy or radiotherapy before operation.

RESULTS: There were 113 men (76.9%) and 34 women. Median age was 57 years (range 51-65 years). Postsurgical pathological studies revealed squamous cell carcinoma in 139 patients (94.6%), adenocarcinoma in five (3.4%), and adenosquamous carcinoma in three (2%). Positive abdominal and/or mediastinal lymph nodes were found in 122 patients (82.9%). At mean 43 nodes (range from 32 up to 75) were studied for each patient. Even in T(1)-T(2) tumors mediastinal or abdominal lymph nodes are involved in up to 80% of cases. However, in T(3)-T(4) stages the frequency of lymph node involvement is significantly higher (P<0.05). Postsurgical staging was as follows: stage I in three patients (2%), stage IIa in 20 (13.6%), stage IIb in 29 (19.7%), stage III in 54 (36.8%), and stage IV in 41 (27.9%). All distant metastases were lymphogenous. The operative mortality rate was 6.1%, and complications occurred in 62 patients (42.1%). The overall 5-year survive rate was 28.8% (median survival 36.1 months). The 5-year survival rate for patients in stage IIa was 59%; for those in stage IIb, 39.5%; for patients in stage III, 26.7%; and 0% for patients in stage IV.

CONCLUSIONS: Subtotal esophagectomy with extended 2-field lymph node dissection through Ivor Lewis approach for esophageal cancer is a safe operation. Long-term survival is stage dependent. Effective multimodality treatment may be helpful for patients with advanced disease.

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