Background: Transhiatal (two-field) esophagectomy reduces cardiopulmonary complications by avoiding thoracic access, but requires blind mediastinal dissection. The authors developed a minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) technique applying single-incision laparoscopy technology to better visualize the thoracic esophageal dissection. This is performed using laparoscopy and simultaneous transcervical videoscopic esophageal dissection (TVED). Our aim is to demonstrate feasibility of two-field MIE with TVED and improve recovery in high-risk patients. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of eight patients who underwent two-field MIE with TVED over 10 months. The majority were male (N = 6) with mean age of 63 ± 12 years. Mean body mass index (BMI) was 30.2 ± 5.1 kg/m2. Indications for operation were: high-grade dysplasia (N = 2), adenocarcinoma (N = 6) with one receiving neoadjuvant chemoradiation. Using the Charlson comorbidity index, three patients were low risk and five were high risk. TVED was performed with a modified single-incision access device across the left neck. The mediastinal esophagus was dissected distally and circumferentially with simultaneous transabdominal laparoscopy for gastric conduit creation and distal esophageal dissection. Results: Mean operative time was 292 min (range 194-375 min). Three obese patients required temporary abdominal desufflation to avoid extrinsic mediastinal compression. Mean estimated blood loss was 119 mL (range 25-400 mL). A median of 23 lymph nodes (range 13-29) was harvested. Median intensive care unit (ICU) stay was 1 day (range 1-5 days), and median overall stay was 7 days (range 5-16 days). The three low-risk patients had no major complications. Three of five high-risk patients had major complications, including two cervical anastomotic leaks. Major complications were seen in three of four obese patients (BMI >30 kg/m2). There were no mortalities. Conclusions: The TVED approach may avoid the morbidity of transthoracic esophageal dissection by improving esophageal visualization. Complications with TVED appear to correlate with obesity and comorbidities. Although TVED appears feasible, a larger experience is required.
- Esophageal cancer
- Minimally invasive esophagectomy
- Single-incision laparoscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas