Thoracoscopic esophagectomy: Are there benefits?

Alberto Peracchia, Riccardo Rosati, Uberto Fumagalli, Stefano Bona, Barbara Chella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Between 1991 and 1995, 18 patients affected by a resectable intramural tumor of the esophagus underwent esophagectomy with thoracoscopic dissection of the esophagus. All patients had a relative contraindication to transthoracic esophagectomy with radical lymphadenectomy. All esophagectomies were completed thoracoscopically and reconstruction of the digestive tract was performed in 17 cases through cervical gastroplasty, and in 1 case, through cervical coloplasty. One cirrhotic patient died in the postoperative period due to a cervical anastomotic leak. Six other patients experienced a postoperative complication (mortality rate, 5.5%; morbidity rate, 33.3%). After a median follow-up of 17 months, 14 patients are alive without evidence of disease. One patient, who had excision of a cutaneous metastasis at a trocar insertion site 6 months postoperatively, eventually died with locoregional recurrence 14 months postoperatively. Another patient died 20 months after surgery with mediastinal recurrence. One patient died 28 months postoperatively after massive hematemesis with a suspect abdominal recurrence. The results of the present series, and those reported by other authors, do not seem to indicate evident advantages at present for the minimally invasive procedure during resection of the esophagus for cancer. Currently, there is no indication that this procedure should be used for standard clinical use. Wider randomized trials, performed in selected centers only, and longer follow-up are needed to further evaluate the procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-262
Number of pages4
JournalSeminars in Surgical Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997


  • Esophageal neoplasms/surgery/mortality
  • Esophagus/surgery
  • Postoperative complications
  • Survival rate
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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