Techniques and short-term outcomes for total minimally invasive Ivor Lewis esophageal resection in distal esophageal and gastroesophageal junction cancers: pooled data from six European centers

Jennifer Straatman, Nicole van der Wielen, Grard A.P. Nieuwenhuijzen, Camiel Rosman, Josep Roig, Joris J.G. Scheepers, Miguel A. Cuesta, Misha D.P. Luyer, Mark I. van Berge Henegouwen, Frans van Workum, Suzanne S. Gisbertz, Donald L. van der Peet

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Introduction: Esophagectomy for cancer can be performed in a two-stage procedure with an intrathoracic anastomosis: the Ivor Lewis esophagectomy. A growing incidence of distal and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinomas and increasing use of minimally invasive techniques have prompted interest in this procedure. The aim of this study was to assess short-term results of minimally invasive Ivor Lewis esophagectomy (MIE-IL). Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed from June 2007 until September 2014, including patients that underwent MIE-IL for distal esophageal and gastroesophageal junction cancer in six different hospitals in the Netherlands and Spain. Data were collected with regard to operative techniques, pathology and postoperative complications. Results: In total, 282 patients underwent MIE-IL, of which 90.2 % received neoadjuvant therapy. Anastomotic leakage was observed in 43 patients (15.2 %), of whom 13 patients (4.6 %) had empyema, necessitating thoracotomy for decortication. With an aggressive treatment of complications, the 30-day and in-hospital mortality rate was 2.1 %. An R0-resection was obtained in 92.5 % of the patients. After neoadjuvant therapy, 20.1 % of patients had a complete response. Conclusions: Minimally invasive Ivor Lewis esophagectomy for distal esophageal and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinomas is an upcoming approach for reducing morbidity caused by laparotomy and thoracotomy. Anastomotic leakage rate is still high possibly due to technical diversity of anastomotic techniques, and a high percentage of patients treated by neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy. An aggressive approach to complications leads to a low mortality of 2.1 %. Further improvement and standardization in the anastomotic technique are needed in order to perform a safe intrathoracic anastomosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-126
Number of pages8
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number1
Early online date2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Esophageal cancer
  • Esophagectomy
  • Intrathoracic anastomosis
  • Ivor Lewis
  • Minimally invasive

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