Esophageal reconstruction following esophagectomy is a complex operation with significant morbidity. Gastric pull-up (GPU) has historically been the first-line operation followed by the colonic interposition (CI) graft, but recently, the use of a pedicled, supercharged jejunal flap (SJF) has reemerged as an alternative. However, comprehensive reports on outcomes of SJFs remain limited, with exceedingly few direct comparisons of outcomes.Methods
A retrospective chart review was completed for patients who underwent thoracic or total esophageal reconstruction between 2004 and 2014 at a single institution. A comparison of patient characteristics and outcomes was performed for 15 patients reconstructed with an SJF, 4 with CI, and 85 with GPU.Results
Ten patients in the SJF group and 3 in the CI group underwent prior GPU with complications resulting in esophageal discontinuity. The CI group had significantly longer intensive care and overall hospital stays than either other group. Forty percent (SJF), 100% (CI), and 56% (GPU) experienced at least 1 complication during their postoperative hospitalization, most frequently bowel obstruction after SJF, anastomotic leak (CI), and pulmonary complications and arrhythmias (GPU). Rates of anastomotic leakage were 13% (GPU), 75% (CI), and 13% (SJF). Reoperation was required in 27% following SJF compared with 75% following CI and 19% following GPU. There was 1 CI graft failure and no SJF failures.Conclusions
The SJF is a reasonable first-line option for esophageal reconstruction, with comparable recovery, complication rate, and functional outcomes compared with the traditional GPU. When the stomach is unavailable, the SJF is superior to CI.