PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to examine the external validity of the randomized TIME trial, when minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) was implemented nationally in the Netherlands, using data from the Dutch Upper GI Cancer Audit (DUCA) for transthoracic esophagectomy. METHODS: Original patient data from the TIME trial were extracted along with data from the DUCA dataset (2011-2017). Multivariate analysis, with adjustment for patient factors, tumor factors, and year of surgery, was performed for the effect of MIE versus open esophagectomy on clinical outcomes. RESULTS: One hundred fifteen patients from the TIME trial (59 MIE v 56 open) and 4,605 patients from the DUCA dataset (2,652 MIE v 1,953 open) were included. In the TIME trial, univariate analysis showed that MIE reduced pulmonary complications and length of hospital stay. On the contrary, in the DUCA dataset, MIE was associated with increased total and pulmonary complications and reoperations; however, benefits included increased proportion of R0 margin and lymph nodes harvested, and reduced 30-day mortality. Multivariate analysis from the TIME trial showed that MIE reduced pulmonary complications (odds ratio [OR], 0.19; 95% CI, 0.06 to 0.61). In the DUCA dataset, MIE was associated with increased total complications (OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.19 to 1.57), pulmonary complications (OR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.29 to 1.74), reoperations (OR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.42 to 2.14), and length of hospital stay. Multivariate analysis of the combined and MIE datasets showed that inclusion in the TIME trial was associated with a reduction in reoperations, Clavien-Dindo grade > 1 complications, and length of hospital stay. CONCLUSION: When adopted nationally outside the TIME trial, MIE was associated with an increase in total and pulmonary complications and reoperation rate. This may reflect nonexpert surgeons outside of high-volume centers performing this minimally invasive technique in a nonstandardized fashion outside of a controlled environment.