Abstract Background: The minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) is widely being implemented for esophageal cancer in order to reduce morbidity and improve quality of life. Non-randomized studies investigating the mid-term quality of life after MIE show conflicting results at 1-year follow-up. Therefore, the aim of this study is to determine whether MIE has a continuing better mid-term 1-year quality of life than open esophagectomy (OE) indicating both a faster recovery and less procedure-related symptoms. Methods: A one-year follow-up analysis of the quality of life was conducted for patients participating in the randomized trial in which MIE was compared with OE. Late complications as symptomatic stenosis of anastomosis are also reported. Results: Quality of life at 1 year was better in the MIE group than in the OE group for the physical component summary SF36 [50 (6; 48-53) versus 45 (9; 42-48) p.003]; global health C30 [79 (10; 76-83) versus 67 (21; 60-75) p.004]; and pain OES18 module [6 (9; 2-8) versus 16 (16; 10-22) p.001], respectively. Twenty six patients (44 %) in the MIE and 22 patients (39 %) in the OE group were diagnosed and treated for symptomatic stenosis of the anastomosis. Conclusions: This first randomized trial shows that MIE is associated with a better mid-term one-year quality of life compared to OE.
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