Short and long-term advantages of transhiatal and transthoracic oesophageal cancer resection
Two major surgical strategies to improve survival rates after oesophagectomy for oesophageal cancer have emerged during the past decades; (limited) transhiatal oesophagectomy and (extended) transthoracic oesophagectomy with two-field lymphadenectomy. This overview describes short and long-term advantages of these two strategies. In the short term, transhiatal oesophagectomy is accompanied by less morbidity. In the long term, this strategy is only preferable for patients with tumours located at the gastro-oesophageal junction, without involved lymph nodes in the proximal compartment of the chest. For patients with tumours located in the oesophagus, the transthoracic route with extended lymphadenectomy is probably preferred, because of improved long-term survival.