Video-Assisted Esophageal Resection for Carcinoma – Ten-Year Experience

Authors: R. Aujeský;  Č. Neoral;  V. Král;  R. Vrba;  K. Vomáčková
Authors‘ workplace: I. chirurgická klinika LF UP a FN Olomouc, přednosta: doc. MUDr. Č. Neoral, CSc.
Published in: Rozhl. Chir., 2010, roč. 89, č. 12, s. 746-749.
Category: Monothematic special - Original


Esophageal procedures belong to the most complicated gastrointestinal procedures. Therefore, esophageal carcinoma patients have been and still are concentrated into specialized centres, equipped with all diagnostic and therapeutic means. At the Ist Surgical Clinic of the LF UP (Medical Faculty of the Palacky University) in Olomouc, esophageal surgery has a long lasting tradition. In the management of malignant esophageal disorders, the clinic prefers the use subtotal esophageal resection , attaching the esophagus transplant to a cervical esophageal stud, to the use of more saving resection with the anastomosis site in the mediastinum. In order to subsitute for the resected esophagus, the authors normally use a tubulized gastric flap. In cases, where the stomach cannot be used, the authors use transverse colon to replace the resected esophagus. Classical esophageal procedures have nearly entirely been replaced by video-assisted procedures. Most esophageal resections are performed using video-assisted laparoscopic transhiatal approach. In the management of esophageal tumors which are located at the level of tracheal bifurcation, or below it, the authors use right- sided thoracoscopic approach.

Material and Methods:
During the past 10 years, 178 patients have undergone subtotal esophageal resection for esophageal carcinoma. In 81 patients (45.5%), the esophagus was resected using classical approach. 35 subjects underwent transhiatal „blind“extirpation according to Orringer, in 46 subjects right-sided thoracotomy was used (subjects with tumors located in the middle third of the thoracic esophagus and higher). Video-assisted approach was used in 97 patients, which included 88 subjects with laparoscopic transhiatal modification of the procedure and 9 subjects, who underwent video-thoracoscopy.

The mean procedure duration was 242 minutes. The authors recorded the following complications: pneumothorax in 29 patients (16%) and n. laryngeus recurrens palsy in 16 subjects (9%). 13 patients (7%) developed a fistule in anastomosis, which was managed by drainage of the cervical wound. Pulmonary complications were recorded in 55 patients (31%). The mean duration of hospitalization was 12 days, intraoperative death rate was 4.5%. Only 2 out of 8 deaths occurring during the early postoperative period, were surgery-related. In the both cases, mediastinitis developed, resulting from a transponate necrosis in one of the cases and from a bronchial fistule in the other subject. Five subjects exited because of ARDS, which included one case of myocardial infarction.

When esophageal carcinoma is managed at a clinic equipped with the latest modern diagnostic and theraputical means, the procedure of esophageal resection is a fairly safe procedure with low death and morbidity rates.

Key words:
esophageal carcinoma – video-assisted resection – esophago-gastroplasty


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