Surgical therapy of esophageal adenocarcinoma—Current standards and future perspectives

Wolfgang Schröder, Suzanne S. Gisbertz, Daan M. Voeten, Christian A. Gutschow, Hans F. Fuchs, Mark I. van Berge Henegouwen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Transthoracic esophagectomy is currently the predominant curative treatment option for resectable esophageal adenocarcinoma. The majority of carcinomas present as locally advanced tumors requiring multimodal strategies with either neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy or perioperative chemotherapy alone. Minimally invasive, including robotic, techniques are increasingly applied with a broad spectrum of technical variations existing for the oncological resection as well as gastric reconstruction. At the present, intrathoracic esophagogastrostomy is the preferred technique of reconstruction (Ivor Lewis esophagectomy). With standardized surgical procedures, a complete resection of the primary tumor can be achieved in almost 95% of patients. Even in expert centers, postoperative morbidity remains high, with an overall complication rate of 50–60%, whereas 30-and 90-day mortality are reported to be <2% and <6%, respectively. Due to the complexity of transthoracic esophagetomy and its associated morbidity, esophageal surgery is recommended to be performed in specialized centers with an appropriate caseload yet to be defined. In order to reduce postoperative morbidity, the selection of patients, preoperative rehabilitation and postoperative fast-track concepts are feasible strategies of perioperative management. Future directives aim to further centralize esophageal services, to individualize surgical treatment for high-risk patients and to implement intraoperative imaging modalities modifying the oncological extent of resection and facilitating surgical reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5834
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Esophageal adenocarcinoma
  • Minimally invasive (robotic) techniques: perioperative management
  • Patient selection
  • Surgical outcome
  • Transthoracic esophagectomy

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