Esophageal cancer is one of the major public health problems worldwide. Different methods of minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) have been described, and they represent a safe alternative for the surgical management of esophageal cancer in selected centres with high volume and expertise in them. The procedural goal is to decrease the high overall morbidity of a traditional open esophageal resection.
This article reviews the most recent and largest series evaluation of MIE techniques.
A literature search performed using search engines Google, HighWire press, SpringerLink, and Yahoo. Selected papers are screened for other related reports.
Though MIE requires greater expertise and a long learning curve, once technique has been mastered it greatly reduces the postoperative morbidity and mortality to a significant extent. There was not much difference in average operating time compared to open surgery but bleeding was less in MIE. Mean hospital stay was similar to open surgery. There was no significant difference in number and location of lymph nodes harvested.
The current review shows that MIE with its decreased blood loss, minimal cardiopulmonary complications and decreased morbidity and oncological adequacy, represents a safe and effective alternative for the treatment of esophageal carcinoma.
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