Background: Postoperative complications after open transthoracic esophagectomy could possibly be reduced if the abdominal phase is performed laparoscopically. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of laparoscopic mobilization of the stomach and gastric tube formation in patients undergoing an open transthoracic esophagectomy for cancer. Methods: Thirteen patients underwent an open transthoracic esophagectomy with extended en bloc lymphadenectomy combined with laparoscopic gastric tube formation. Clinicopathological data were derived from a prospective database and patient files. Results: The median operation time was 484 min (range 347-573) and the median intraoperative blood loss was 1,500 ml (range 250-3,700). In 2 patients the laparoscopic procedure was converted to a laparotomy because of technical difficulties. Median post-operative stay in the ICU was 3 days (range 1-8) and median hospital stay was 29 days (range 12-104). One patient died in the hospital. Postoperatively 3 patients suffered from anastomotic leakage, 5 from pneumonia and 3 from vocal cord palsy. Conclusions: The complication rate was high in this series of patients undergoing an open extended transthoracic esophagectomy with laparoscopic mobilization of the stomach and gastric tube formation. Laparoscopic mobilization of the stomach and gastric tube formation are feasible, but need carefully guided testing before this technique can be applied routinely. Copyright

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Digestive Surgery
Department of Surgery

Cense, H.A, Busch, O.R.C, Bemelman, W.A, Obertop, H, & van Lanschot, J.J.B. (2006). Results of the combination of open transthoracic esophagectomy with laparoscopic gastric tube formation for esophageal cancer. Digestive Surgery, 23(3), 164–168. doi:10.1159/000094350