eISSN: 2299-0054
ISSN: 1895-4588
Videosurgery and Other Miniinvasive Techniques
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vol. 18
General surgery
Original paper

Evolution of a minimally invasive oesophagectomy program – effective complication management is key

Çağatay Çetinkaya
Zeynep Bilgi
Sezer Aslan
Hasan Fevzi Batırel

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Uskudar University, School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey
Department of Thoracic Surgery, Medeniyet University, School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey
Department of Thoracic Surgery, Sirnak State Hospital, Sirnak, Turkey
Department of Thoracic Surgery, Biruni University, School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey
Videosurgery Miniinv 2023; 18 (3): 481–486
Online publish date: 2023/08/04
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Despite improvements in patient selection, operative technique, and postoperative care, oesophagectomy remains one of the most morbid oncologic resection types. Introduction of minimally invasive practice has been shown to have a greater marginal benefit for oesophagectomy than most of the other types of procedures.

To evaluate early surgical outcomes through the adoption of totally minimally invasive oesophagectomy and accumulating experience in perioperative management.

Material and methods
All patients with mid and distal oesophageal carcinoma who underwent oesophagectomy and gastric conduit construction between June 2004 and December 2021 were recorded prospectively. Demographic information, neoadjuvant treatment, operative data, and perioperative mortality/morbidity were evaluated. Patients were classified depending on the timeline and predominant surgical approach: Group 1 (2004–2011, open surgery), Group 2 (2011–2015, adoption period of minimally invasive surgery), and Group 3 (2015–2021, routine minimally invasive surgery).

In total, 167 patients were identified (Group 1, n = 48; Group 2, n = 44; Group 3, n = 75). Group 3 was significantly older (59.5 ±11.6 vs. 54.1 ±10.6 years and 56.2 ±10.8 years; p = 0.031).The likelihood of successful completion of a totally minimally invasive esophagectomy was increased as well as the preference for intrathoracic anastomosis (p < 0.0001 for both). The major morbidity rate was stable across the groups, but 90-day mortality significantly decreased for the most recent cohort.

Accumulating experience led to enhanced success in completion of minimally invasive oesophagectomy, and intrathoracic anastomosis was increasingly the preferred modality. Surgical mortality decreased over time despite the older patients and comparable perioperative morbidity including anastomotic leaks. Improvement in the management of complications is an apparent contributor to good perioperative outcomes as well as technical development.


management, complication, minimally invasive, experience, oesophagectomy

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