World journal of surgical oncology 2018 02 0916(1) 25 doi 10.1186/s12957-017-1268-3
This study aimed to propose a new surgical strategy, i.e., the transcervical video-assisted mediastinoscopic lymphadenectomy (VAMLA) with esophagectomy via the left transthoracic approach for patients with esophageal cancer (EC), and to compare the outcomes with those of esophagectomy via the right thoracic approach.
From December 2014 to March 2016, 49 cases were enrolled in this non-randomized concurrent control study. Twenty-eight patients with EC who underwent transcervical VAMLA with esophagectomy via the left transthoracic approach were assigned into the study group, while 21 EC patients undergoing esophagectomy via the right transthoracic approach during the same period were enrolled into the control group. Operative outcomes including operative time, the numbers of removed lymph nodes, intraoperative blood loss, the length of hospital stay, and postoperative complications in both groups were evaluated and compared.
There were no significant differences in the baseline profiles between the two groups, and all patients in the two groups successfully underwent the surgery. There was a significant difference between transcervical VAMLA with esophagectomy via the left thoracic approach and esophagectomy via the right thoracic approach with regard to the number of all dissected lymph nodes [(29.0 ± 8.7) vs. (17.8 ± 8.1), p < 0.05], dissected superior mediastinal lymph nodes [(11.2 ± 5.0) vs. (3.7 ± 2.9), p < 0.05], and dissected in the recurrent laryngeal nerve lymph nodes [(5.6 ± 3.5) vs. (2.3 ± 2.1), p < 0.05]. No significant differences were observed in the operative time, intraoperative blood loss, length of postoperative hospital stay, number of dissected abdominal lymph nodes, postoperative pulmonary complications (pneumonia and atelectasis), anastomotic fistula, chylothorax, and vocal cord paralysis (p > 0.05).
Transcervical VAMLA combined with esophagectomy via the left thoracic approach appears technically feasible and safe and shows advantages in the number of dissected superior mediastinal lymph nodes, suggesting that it may serve as a new treatment option for patients with esophageal carcinoma.