The effect of postoperative complications on survival of patients after minimally invasive esophagectomy for esophageal cancer

Kun-Kun Li, Yin-Jian Wang, Xue-Hai Liu, Qun-You Tan, Yao-Guang Jiang, Wei Guo
Surgical Endoscopy 2017, 31 (9): 3475-3482

BACKGROUND: Minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) has been shown to be a feasible technique for the treatment of esophageal cancer; however, its postoperative morbidity remains high. This retrospective study aimed to evaluate the effect of postoperative complications on long-term outcomes in patients who have undergone MIE for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).

METHODS: This retrospective study enrolled patients who had undergone MIE for ESCC between September 2009 and November 2014; all procedures were performed by a single surgical team. Relevant patient characteristics and postoperative variables were collected and evaluated. The disease-free survival (DFS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) were determined by the Kaplan-Meier method, and compared by log-rank tests. Possible predictors of survival were subjected to univariate analysis and multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analysis.

RESULTS: In all, data on 214 patients with ESCC were analyzed, including 170 men and 44 women. All study subjects had undergone thoracoscopic or thoracoscopic-laparoscopic esophagectomy and cervical esophagogastric anastomosis. One hundred and thirty patients (60.7%) had postoperative complications (Grades 1-4). The overall DFS and DSS rates were 80.0 and 88.9% at 1 year, 48.6 and 54.2% at 3 years, and 43.2 and 43.5% at 5 years, respectively. Univariate analysis and multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analysis showed that T stage, N stage, and tumor grade were independent prognostic factors for long-term survival; however, postoperative complications had no significant effect on the DFS or DSS of this patient cohort (log-rank test, p = 0.354 and 0.160, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Postoperative complications have no significant effect on long-term survival in patients who have undergone MIE for ESCC.

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