Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy for Esophageal Cancer: Evolution and Review


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Abstract

Esophageal cancer remains one of the most deadly cancers with a low overall 5-year survival rate of 17%. Surgical options for esophageal cancer are varied, and debate exists on the best option. The literature was searched for articles discussing minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) compared with open esophagectomy (OE), and articles were chosen at the discretion of the authors. Several studies have shown that MIE has a statistically significant rate of decreased blood loss, increased length of operative time, shorter hospital stay, and overall decreased morbidity. Anastomotic leak, stricture rate, and survival benefit have also been demonstrated to be similar between OE and MIE. As is made apparent by the small amount of literature on MIE, further research must be done to determine outcomes. Although it is likely that MIE does offer benefits when compared with open surgery, it has not been shown in any large-scale comparative studies.

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