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A approach of gastric conduit via the anterior of pulmonary hilum route during minimally invasive McKeown esophagectomy.

BACKGROUND: The gastric conduit is the most commonly used replacement organ for reconstruction after minimally invasive McKeown esophagectomy. Although the optimal route of gastric conduit remains controversial, the posterior mediastinal route is physiologically preferable but is not without disadvantages. Here, we report the safety and efficacy of a method of gastric conduit reconstruction via the anterior of the pulmonary hilum route.

METHODS: We have used the anterior of the pulmonary hilum route since 2021. This procedure involves pulling the gastric conduit up through a substernal tunnel between the right thoracic cavity and the abdominal cavity and passing it into the neck via the anterior of the pulmonary hilum route. In this retrospective study, we compared the clinical outcomes between 20 patients who underwent this procedure and 20 patients who underwent the posterior mediastinal route from 2021 to 2022.

RESULTS: No mortality was reported in either group. No significant differences were observed between the two groups in duration of surgery, blood loss, incidence of postoperative complications, and postoperative hospital stay. As a result of the anterior of the pulmonary hilum route, the primary tumor bed and lymph node drainage area were effectively bypassed, which facilitates postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy. The distance of the gastric conduit accompanying the airway was significantly shorter in the anterior of the pulmonary hilum route group.

CONCLUSIONS: Our method is considered to be a safe and useful technique for the reconstruction of gastric conduit.

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