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Open versus minimally invasive esophagectomy: clinical outcomes for locally advanced esophageal adenocarcinoma

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We compared oncologic and surgical outcome between minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) and the Ivor Lewis-type open approach (OE) in the treatment of locally advanced esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC).

Materials and methods

Of 284 patients undergoing surgery for EAC between 2003 and 2013, the 153 selected with locally advanced EAC were 74 MIEs and 79 OEs [median age, 66 for MIE, 63 for OE (p = 0.009)]. Neoadjuvant therapy was given to 82 % of MIEs and 78 % of OEs. In the OE group, 86 % was male, and in the MIE group, 78 %. Data assessed were oncologic, intraoperative, and postoperative.


Mortality at 30 days was 3 % for MIE and 1 % for OE; and 90-day mortality was 4 % for MIE and 5 % for OE. The complication rate for MIE was 50 %, and 60 % for OE (p = 0.181). The pneumonia rate was 18 % for MIE and 19 % for OE; leak rate was 7 % for MIE and 6 % for OE; conduit necrosis was 0 for MIE and 3 % for OE; and rate of airway-conduit fistula was 3 % for MIE and 1 % for OE. Median blood loss (MIE 300 vs. OE 800, p < 0.0001), overall stay (MIE 13 vs. OE 14, p = 0.040), and harvested lymph nodes (MIE 20 vs. OE 22, p = 0.021) all were in favor of MIE. Median ICU stay and operative time did not differ. Neither did overall (OS) nor recurrence-free (RFS) 3-year survival differs significantly (MIE 64 % vs. OS OE 49 %, MIE 57 % vs. RFS OE 53 %).


In our institution, MIE appears to produce oncologic and survival results similar to those of OE. Shorter length of stay and less operative blood loss may reduce costs for MIE.

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Drs. Kauppi, Räsänen, Sihvo, Huuhtanen, Nelskylä, and Salo have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Jarmo Salo.

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Kauppi, J., Räsänen, J., Sihvo, E. et al. Open versus minimally invasive esophagectomy: clinical outcomes for locally advanced esophageal adenocarcinoma. Surg Endosc 29, 2614–2619 (2015).

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