Outcomes With Open and Minimally Invasive Ivor Lewis Esophagectomy After Neoadjuvant Therapy

Luis F Tapias, Douglas J Mathisen, Cameron D Wright, John C Wain, Henning A Gaissert, Ashok Muniappan, Michael Lanuti, Dean M Donahue, Christopher R Morse
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2016, 101 (3): 1097-103

BACKGROUND: Neoadjuvant therapy is integral in the treatment of locally advanced esophageal cancer. Despite increasing acceptance of minimally invasive approaches to esophagectomy, there remain concerns about the safety and oncologic soundness after neoadjuvant therapy. We examined outcomes in patients undergoing open and minimally invasive (MIE) Ivor Lewis esophagectomy after neoadjuvant therapy.

METHODS: This was a retrospective series of 130 consecutive patients with esophageal cancer undergoing Ivor Lewis esophagectomy with curative intention after neoadjuvant therapy at a tertiary academic center (2008 to 2012).

RESULTS: An open procedure was performed in 74 patients (56.9%), and 56 (43.1%) underwent MIE after neoadjuvant therapy. MIE patients had shorter median intensive care unit (p = 0.002) and hospital lengths of stay (p < 0.0001). The incidence of postoperative complications was similar (open: 54.8% vs MIE: 41.1%, p = 0.155). However, observed respiratory complications were significantly reduced after MIE (8.9%) compared with open (29.7%; p = 0.004). Anastomotic leak rates were similar (open: 1.4% vs. MIE: 0%, p = 1.00). Mortality at 30 and 90 days was comparable (open: 2.7% and 4.1% vs MIE: 0% and 1.8%, p = 0.506 and p = 0.634, respectively). Complete resection rates and the number of collected lymph nodes was similar. Overall survival rates at 5 years were similar (open: 61% vs MIE: 50%, p = 0.933). MIE was not a significant predictor of overall survival (hazard ratio, 1.07; 95% confidence interval, 0.61 to 1.87; p = 0.810).

CONCLUSIONS: MIE proves its safety after neoadjuvant therapy because it leads to faster progression during the early postoperative period while reducing pulmonary complications. Open and MIE approaches appear equivalent with regards to perioperative oncologic outcomes after neoadjuvant therapy. Long-term outcomes need further validation.

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