A preliminary experience with minimally invasive Ivor Lewis esophagectomy

L F Tapias, C R Morse
Diseases of the Esophagus: Official Journal of the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus 2012, 25 (5): 449-55
With several small series examining minimally invasive Ivor Lewis esophagectomies, we look to contribute to a growing experience. In reporting our initial results, safety, initial oncologic completeness, and preliminary outcomes with a minimally invasive Ivor Lewis esophagectomy were demonstrated. From 2007 to 2010, 40 minimally invasive Ivor Lewis esophagectomies were carried out. The approach was a laparoscopic mobilization of the stomach and a thoracoscopic esophageal mobilization and creation of a high intrathoracic anastomosis. Indications included esophageal cancer in 39 patients and esophageal gastrointestinal stromal tumor in one patient. Median age was 62 (range 39-77) with 31 (78%) male patients. Non-emergent conversion was required in two (5%) patients. Twenty-five (63%) patients underwent neoadjuvant therapy. Mean operative time was 364 minutes (range 285-455), and mean blood loss was 205 cc (range 100-400). All patients underwent an R0 resection including the removal of all Barrett's esophagus, and mean number of nodes harvested was 21 (range 11-41). Median intensive care unit stay was 1 day (range 1-3), and hospital stay was 7 days (range 6-19). There were no anastomotic leaks and no 30-day mortality. Postoperative complications included eight (21%) patients with atrial fibrillation and two (5%) chylothorax, one requiring ligation. At a mean follow-up of 16.5 months (range 1-39 months), five (13%) patients have had a distant recurrence; there have been no local recurrences. Minimally invasive Ivor Lewis esophagectomy, although technically challenging, can be carried out with reasonable operative times, a short length of stay, and minimal complication. Final oncologic validity is pending longer follow-up and a larger series.

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