Thoracoscopic dissection of the esophagus for cancer

A. Peracchia, R. Rosati, U. Fumagalli, S. Bona, B. Chella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Eighteen patients affected by a resectable intramural tumor of the esophagus have undergone esophagectomy with thoracoscopic dissection of the esophagus in the last 4 years. 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 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 presently evident advantages from the minimally invasive procedure during resection of the esophagus for cancer. At the present time, no indication to this procedure exists for standard clinical use; wider randomized trials and longer follow-up to be performed only in selected centers are needed to further evaluate the procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1997


  • Cancer of the esophagus
  • Esophagectomy
  • Thoracoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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