DOI: 10.1093/dote/doad052.236 ISSN:


C S Pramesh, George Karimundackal, Sabita Jiwnani, Virendra Tiwari, Devayani Niyogi, Madhavi Shetmahajan, Priya Ranganathan, Swapnil Parab, Parveen Yadav, Pallavi Purwar, Apurva Ashok, Srinivas Gopinath, Rajesh Mistry
  • Gastroenterology
  • General Medicine



Surgery for esophageal cancer is complex and associated with considerable postoperative morbidity. Several strategies have been attempted to decrease morbidity after esophageal resection including enhanced recovery programmes, concentration of surgery in high-volume centres, and minimally invasive surgical approaches. Randomized trials showing superior perioperative outcomes with thoracoscopic esophagectomy have sometimes not been replicated in real-world studies. We compared our short-term outcomes including postoperative complications, morbidity and mortality after thoracoscopic and open transthoracic esophagectomy for cancer.


We performed a retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database of esophageal resections for cancer at a tertiary referral cancer centre between Oct 2003 and Dec 2022. Consecutive patients undergoing either thoracoscopic or open transthoracic esophagectomy (TTE) with a cervical anastomosis were included in the study. Operative time, blood loss, lymph node yield, postoperative morbidity and mortality after surgery were compared between the two groups. Categorical data were analysed using the chi square test and numeric data using the Student t test. A p value of 0.05 was considered statistically significant and no adjustment was made for multiple comparisons.


A total of 3328 patients were operated for esophageal cancer between 1st October 2003 and 31st Dec 2022. 897 patients who underwent thoracoscopic and 1591 patients who underwent open TTE were included in the study. Comparison between the two groups on the different variables are shown in the table. On multivariable logistic regression analysis, extended radical lymphadenectomy, higher modified risk score and open thoracic approach were significantly associated with increased postoperative morbidity.


Our series of thoracoscopic esophagectomy, one of the largest in the world, validates the results of randomized trials in the real-world setting, with significant reductions in operative blood loss, ICU stay, postoperative pulmonary complications, wound infections, and major morbidity. Thoracoscopic approach remained an independent determinant of decreased postoperative morbidity.

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