Surgery Today

, Volume 45, Issue 7, pp 819–825 | Cite as

Advantages of the prone position for minimally invasive esophagectomy in comparison to the left decubitus position: better oxygenation after minimally invasive esophagectomy

  • Eiji Tanaka
  • Hiroshi Okabe
  • Yousuke Kinjo
  • Shigeru Tsunoda
  • Kazutaka Obama
  • Shigeo Hisamori
  • Yoshiharu Sakai
Original Article



The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate whether minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) in the prone position has advantages over the left decubitus position.


A total of 110 consecutive patients with esophageal cancer who had undergone MIE were included in the analysis. The clinical outcomes were compared between 51 patients treated in the prone position (prone group) and 59 patients treated in the left decubitus position (LD group). The main outcome was postoperative respiratory complications and postoperative oxygenation [arterial oxygen pressure/fraction of inspired oxygen (P/F ratio)]. The secondary outcomes included the length of the operation, blood loss, number of dissected lymph nodes, postoperative morbidities and mortality.


The P/F ratio after the operation was significantly higher in the prone group (0 h: P = 0.01, 12 h: P < 0.001). No significant differences were observed in the frequency of respiratory complications (P = 0.89). The blood loss in the prone group was significantly lower (P < 0.001), and the number of dissected intrathoracic lymph nodes was significantly higher (P = 0.03) than in the LD group. No significant differences were observed in the frequencies of overall postoperative complications.


MIE in the prone position preserves better oxygenation of patients during the early recovery period, and is associated with less blood loss and a larger number of dissected lymph nodes.


Esophageal cancer Minimally invasive surgery Prone position 


Conflict of interest

Authors Eiji Tanaka, Hiroshi Okabe, Yousuke Kinjo, Shigeru Tsunoda, Kazutaka Obama, Shigeo Hisamori, and Yoshiharu Sakai have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

Supplementary material

595_2014_1061_MOESM1_ESM.doc (52 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 51 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eiji Tanaka
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Okabe
    • 1
  • Yousuke Kinjo
    • 1
  • Shigeru Tsunoda
    • 1
  • Kazutaka Obama
    • 1
  • Shigeo Hisamori
    • 1
  • Yoshiharu Sakai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Graduate School of MedicineKyoto UniversitySakyo-Ku, KyotoJapan

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