Comparative study of minimally invasive versus open esophagectomy for esophageal cancer in a single cancer center

Juwei Mu, Zuyang Yuan, Baihua Zhang, Ning Li, Fang Lyu, Yousheng Mao, Qi Xue, Shugeng Gao, Jun Zhao, Dali Wang, Zhishan Li, Yushun Gao, Liangze Zhang, Jinfeng Huang, Kang Shao, Feiyue Feng, Liang Zhao, Jian Li, Guiyu Cheng, Kelin Sun, Jie He
Chinese Medical Journal 2014, 127 (4): 747-52

BACKGROUND: In order to minimize the injury reaction during the surgery and reduce the morbidity rate, hence reducing the mortality rate of esophagectomy, minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) was introduced. The aim of this study was to compare the postoperative outcomes in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma undergoing minimally invasive or open esophagectomy (OE).

METHODS: The medical records of 176 consecutive patients, who underwent minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) between January 2009 and August 2013 in Cancer Institute & Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, were retrospectively reviewed. In the same period, 142 patients who underwent OE, either Ivor Lewis or McKeown approach, were selected randomly as controls. The clinical variables of paired groups were compared, including age, sex, Charlson score, tumor location, duration of surgery, number of harvested lymph nodes, morbidity rate, the rate of leak, pulmonary morbidity rate, mortality rate, and hospital length of stay (LOS).

RESULTS: The number of harvested lymph nodes was not significantly different between MIE group and OE group (median 20 vs. 16, P = 0.740). However, patients who underwent MIE had longer operation time than the OE group (375 vs. 300 minutes, P < 0.001). Overall morbidity, pulmonary morbidity, the rate of leak, in-hospital death, and hospital LOS were not significantly different between MIE and OE groups. Morbidities including anastomotic leak and pulmonary morbidity, inhospital death, hospital LOS, and hospital expenses were not significantly different between MIE and OE groups as well.

CONCLUSIONS: MIE and OE appear equivalent with regard to early oncological outcomes. There is a trend that hospital LOS and hospital expenses are reduced in the MIE group than the OE group.

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