Background: Diagnostic laparoscopy has been used to determine resectability and to prevent unnecessary laparotomy in patients with advanced esophageal cancer. The objective of this prospective study was to evaluate the role of laparoscopy in conjunction with computed tomography (CT) scan in staging patients with esophageal cancer. Methods: From March 1995 to October 1998, 59 patients with biopsy-proven esophageal cancer underwent diagnostic laparoscopy with concurrent vascular access device and feeding jejunostomy tube placement. Results: Laparoscopy changed the treatment plan in 10 of 59 patients (17%). Of the patients with normal-appearing regional or celiac nodes, 78% were confirmed by biopsy to be tumor free, whereas 76% of patients with abnormal-appearing nodes were confirmed by biopsy to have node-positive disease. Conclusions: Diagnostic laparoscopy is useful for detecting and confirming nodal involvement and distant metastatic disease that potentially would alter treatment and prognosis in patients with esophageal cancer.
- Esophageal cancer
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