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Fast-track surgery improves postoperative clinical recovery and reduces postoperative insulin resistance after esophagectomy for esophageal cancer

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This study aims to investigate the influence of fast-track surgery (FTS) on insulin resistance indicators in a prospective randomized, controlled clinical trial in esophageal cancer patients.


Between November 2009 and March 2011, 34 patients underwent the FTS pathway, and 34 patients underwent the conventional pathway after esophagectomy in our department. The times to postoperative flatus and defecation, duration of postoperative hospital stay, hospitalization expenditures, and postoperative complications were recorded. Insulin resistance indicators were measured before operation as well as on the 1st, 3rd, and 7th postoperative days (PODs), including serum levels of fasting blood glucose (FBG), fasting insulin (FINS), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and C-reactive protein (CRP) in patients of both groups. The insulin resistance index (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR)) was calculated at each time point.


We found a significantly shorter postoperative hospital stay and faster return of gastrointestinal function in patients who underwent FTS (P < 0.01). In addition, the total hospitalization expenditure was significantly lower in the FTS group (P < 0.01). The preoperative insulin resistance indicators showed no significant differences between the two groups. On PODs 1 and 3, the levels of log-HOMA-IR, FINS, IL-6, and CRP in the FTS group were significantly lower than those in the control group (all P < 0.05). On POD 7, the CRP level in the FTS group was significantly lower than that in the control group (P < 0.05).


FTS promotes early recovery of gastrointestinal function and reduces stress reaction and postoperative insulin resistance after esophagectomy for esophageal cancer.

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Financial support for this study was provided by the Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Health Department (no. 2011-157), the Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Education Department (no. 12521268), and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (no. 106941).

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Jian Cui.

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Guibin Zhao and Shouqiang Cao contributed equally to the manuscript.

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Zhao, G., Cao, S. & Cui, J. Fast-track surgery improves postoperative clinical recovery and reduces postoperative insulin resistance after esophagectomy for esophageal cancer. Support Care Cancer 22, 351–358 (2014).

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