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World J Gastroenterol. Aug 14, 2010; 16(30): 3811-3815
Published online Aug 14, 2010. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i30.3811
Minimally invasive esophagectomy
Fernando A Herbella, Marco G Patti
Fernando A Herbella, Marco G Patti, Department of Surgery, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60637, United States
Author contributions: Herbella FA wrote the manuscript; Patti MG revised the manuscript.
Correspondence to: Marco G Patti, MD, Professor, Director, Department of Surgery, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, 5841 S. Maryland Ave, MC 5095, Room G-201, Chicago, IL 60637, United States.
Telephone: +1-773-7024763 Fax: +1-773-7026120
Received: April 24, 2010
Revised: June 7, 2010
Accepted: June 14, 2010
Published online: August 14, 2010

Esophageal resection is associated with a high morbidity and mortality rate. Minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) might theoretically decrease this rate. We reviewed the current literature on MIE, with a focus on the available techniques, outcomes and comparison with open surgery. This review shows that the available literature on MIE is still crowded with heterogeneous studies with different techniques. There are no controlled and randomized trials, and the few retrospective comparative cohort studies are limited by small numbers of patients and biased by historical controls of open surgery. Based on the available literature, there is no evidence that MIE brings clear benefits compared to conventional esophagectomy. Increasing experience and the report of larger series might change this scenario.

Keywords: Esophageal resection, Transhiatal esophagectomy, Transthoracic esophagectomy, Esophageal cancer, Minimally invasive esophagectomy, Laparoscopy, Thoracoscopy