This article is about an emerging issue in esophageal surgery: enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) Few data are published in literature and its safety and feasibility is still debated. The focus of our paper is on the feasibility of an ERAS protocol for esophagectomy (including both the Ivor-Lewis and McKeown procedure) in a high volume center comparing to a standard perioperative protocol. We introduced a novelty item on this type of surgery: resume of oral feeding in the first postoperative day. We analyzed the dropout rate for each item and the postoperative morbidity. We studied 39 patients operated in the Upper GI division of Verona University Hospital between January 2013 and August 2014; 22 patients (ERAS group) were studied in a perspective way while 17 patients (standard group) were studied retrospectively. The enhanced recovery protocol included intraoperative fluid management, time of extubation after surgery, intensive care unit discharge, drains and nasogastric tube management, mobilization of the patient, oral food intake. We compared the results between the two groups in term of hospital stay, postoperative morbidity and mortality. We also calculated the percentage completion of the protocol, evaluating patient drop-out rates for each of the items. Patients showed an improvement in the ERAS group in terms of earlier extubation, earlier intensive care unit discharge (p < 0.01), earlier thoracic drain, urinary catheter (p < 0.01) and nasogastric tube removal (p = 0.02), earlier mobilization (p < 0.01), and resume of oral feeding (p < 0.01). Median length of hospital stays in the ERAS group was 9 days while in the standard group was 10 days (p = 0.23). Postoperative morbidity and mortality were comparable between the two groups. This study shows the feasibility and safety of an ERAS protocol for esophageal surgery in a high-volume center. These data strengthen the literature results on this argument calling for larger sample size studies.
This study suggests that patients treated with the present protocol achieve good survival and high pCR rate. Further research is necessary to evaluate whether surgery on demand is feasible in selected patients, such as pCR patients with adenocarcinoma.
In this paper, the epidemiological and clinicobiological behavior of esophagogastric junction (EGJ) adenocarcinoma in the West is compared and contrasted to that in the East, and an overview is provided of current therapeutic strategies employed for this type of tumor in Western countries. It is well known that multimodal treatment is the therapeutic standard in locally advanced EGJ adenocarcinoma, but whether neoadjuvant/perioperative chemotherapy (CT) or neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is the optimal approach is still debated. Neoadjuvant CRT improves local control in locally advanced Siewert type I and II tumors, so it should be considered the treatment of choice. In the subset of these patients with microscopic systemic disease at diagnosis, more intensive exclusive chemotherapy protocols could be of benefit. Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify these patients before planning the treatment. For Siewert type III tumors, perioperative chemotherapy is the standard. While there is general agreement on the optimal surgical approach for Siewert types I and III (a two-field Ivor Lewis operation and a total gastrectomy with distal esophagectomy, respectively), no standard surgical treatment has been defined for Siewert type II tumors. When data from Western series on proximal and circumferential resection margins and on nodal spread in Siewert type II tumors are taken into account, the optimal surgical approach appears to be Ivor Lewis esophagectomy. Whether the extent of esophageal invasion can correctly predict nodal involvement in middle-upper mediastinal stations as a means to restrict indications for transthoracic esophagectomy requires further investigation in the West.
BACKGROUNDMediastinal leakage (ML) is one of the most feared complications of esophagectomy. A standard strategy for its diagnosis and treatment has been difficult to establish because of the great variability in their incidence and mortality rates reported in the existing series.AIMTo assess the incidence, predictive factors, treatment, and associated mortality rate of mediastinal leakage using the standardized definition of mediastinal leaks recently proposed by the Esophagectomy Complications Consensus Group (ECCG).METHODSSeven Italian surgical centers (five high-volume, two low-volume) affiliated with the Italian Society for the Study of Esophageal Diseases designed and implemented a retrospective study including all esophagectomies (n = 501) with intrathoracic esophagogastric anastomosis performed from 2014 to 2017. Anastomotic MLs were defined according to the classification recently proposed by the ECCG.RESULTSFifty-nine cases of ML were recorded, yielding an overall incidence of 11.8% (95%CI: 9.1%-14.9%). The surgical approach significantly influenced the occurrence of ML: the proportion of leakage was 10.5% and 9% after open and hybrid esophagectomy (HE), respectively, and doubled (20%) after totally minimally invasive esophagectomy (TMIE) (P = 0.016). No other predictive factors were found. The 30- and 90-d overall mortality rates were 1.4% and 3.2%, respectively; the 30- and 90-d leak-related mortality rates were 5.1% and 10.2%, respectively; the 90-d mortality rates for TMIE and HE were 5.9% and 1.8%, respectively. Endoscopy was the first-line treatment in 49% of ML cases, with the need for retreatment in 17.2% of cases. Surgery was needed in 44.1% of ML cases. Endoscopic treatment had the lowest mortality rate (6.9%). Removal of the gastric tube with stoma formation was necessary in 8 (13.6%) cases.CONCLUSIONThe incidence of ML after esophagectomy was high mainly in the TMIE group. However, the general and specific (leak-related) mortality rates were low. Early treatment (surgical or endoscopic) of severe leaks is mandatory to limit related mortality.
Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) outbreak has significantly burdened healthcare systems worldwide, leading to reorganization of healthcare services and reallocation of resources. The Italian Society for Study of Esophageal Diseases (SISME) conducted a national survey to evaluate changes in esophageal cancer management in a region severely struck by COVID-19 pandemic. A web-based questionnaire (26 items) was sent to 12 SISME units. Short-term outcomes of esophageal resections performed during the lockdown were compared with those achieved in the same period of 2019. Six (50%) centers had significant restrictions in their activity. However, overall number of resections did not decrease compared to 2019, while a higher rate of open esophageal resections was observed (40 vs. 21.7%; P = 0.034). Surgery was delayed in 24 (36.9%) patients in 6 (50%) centers, mostly due to shortage of anesthesiologists, and occupation of intensive care unit beds from intubated COVID-19 patients. Indications for neoadjuvant chemo (radio) therapy were extended in 14% of patients. Separate COVID-19 hospital pathways were active in 11 (91.7%) units. COVID-19 screening protocols included nasopharyngeal swab in 91.7%, chest computed tomography scan in 8.3% and selective use of lung ultrasound in 75% of units. Postoperative interstitial pneumonia occurred in 1 (1.5%) patient. Recovery from COVID-19 pandemic was characterized by screening of patients in all units, and follow-up outpatient visits in only 33% of units. This survey shows that clinical strategies differed considerably among the 12 SISME centers. Evidence-based guidelines are needed to support the surgical esophageal community and to standardize clinical practice in case of further pandemics.
Natural N0 and downstaged N0 patients are different clinical entities: downstaging cN+ with induction treatment producing downstaged N0 improves survival only if there is concomitant primary cancer downstaging to ypT0. Intermediate survival is seen in downstaged N0 patients with complete tumor response. Natural N0 patients experience intermediate survival with incomplete response (ypT+). Complete response in natural N0 patients produces the best survival. Means of obtaining ypN0 status matters and requires a complete response for downstaged N0 patients to benefit from induction treatment.
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