The use of a tailored surgical technique for minimally invasive esophagectomy

Jeffrey Javidfar, Matthew Bacchetta, Jonathan A Yang, Joanna Miller, Frank D'Ovidio, Mark E Ginsburg, Lyall A Gorenstein, Marc Bessler, Joshua R Sonett
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2012, 143 (5): 1125-9

OBJECTIVE: Uncertainty exists among surgeons as to whether minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) is a comparable operation to open esophagectomy (OE). The surgical technique and oncologic dissection should not be degraded when using a minimally invasive approach.

METHODS: We reviewed a single hospital's experience with both OE and MIE. From 2000 to 2010, 257 patients underwent esophagectomy by 1 of 3 surgical techniques: transhiatal, Ivor Lewis, or 3-hole.

RESULTS: Of the 257 patients (median age, 67 years; range, 58-74), 92 underwent MIE. Both groups were comparable in terms of gender, age, comorbidities, surgical technique, and induction chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The overall median follow-up was 29.5 months (range, 9.9-61.5). The MIE group had a significantly shorter operative time (MIE vs OE, 330 vs 365 minutes, P = .04), length of stay (MIE vs OE, 9 vs 12 days, P < .01), intensive care unit admission rate (MIE vs OE, 55% vs 81%, P < .01), intensive care unit length of stay (MIE vs OE, 1 vs 2 days, P < .01), and estimated blood loss (MIE vs OE, 100 vs 400 mL, P < .01). More lymph nodes were harvested in the MIE group than in the OE group (17 vs 11 nodes, P < .01). There were insignificant differences in 30-day mortality (MIE vs OE, 2.2% vs 3.0%; P = .93) and overall survival (P = .19), as well as in the rates of all complications, except pneumonia (MIE vs OE, 2% vs 13%; P = .01).

CONCLUSIONS: A thoracic surgeon can safely tailor the MIE to a patient's anatomy and oncologic demands while maintaining equivalent survival.

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