Article Abstract

Mediastinoscope and laparoscope-assisted esophagectomy

Authors: Hitoshi Fujiwara, Atsushi Shiozaki, Hirotaka Konishi, Eigo Otsuji

Abstract

Background: Mediastinoscope-assisted transhiatal esophagectomy (MATHE) is a minimally invasive option for thoracic esophageal cancer with the potential benefit of decreasing pulmonary complications by avoiding one-lung ventilation or a transthoracic procedure. However, the conventional MATHE procedure is less radical than transthoracic esophagectomy due to operative view limitations and insufficient mediastinal lymphadenectomy. In upper mediastinal dissection, the conventional MATHE procedure only provides esophageal mobilization with or without lymph node sampling. We developed a novel MATHE procedure with en bloc mediastinal lymphadenectomy by introducing a single-port laparoscopic technique.
Methods: The patient was placed in a supine position with bilateral lung ventilation. The upper mediastinal dissection, using a left cervical approach, was performed with a single-port mediastinoscopic technique. A laparoscope was used as a ‘mediastinoscope’. The lymph nodes along the right recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) were dissected under direct vision using a right cervical approach. Bilateral cervical approaches were followed by hand-assisted laparoscopic transhiatal esophagectomy.
Results: A single-port technique provides a favorable expansion of the mediastinal space by carbon dioxide insufflation, and improves the visibility and handling in the deep mediastinum around the aortic arch, allowing for en bloc lymphadenectomy in the upper mediastinum including the subaortic arch lymph nodes. In addition, a hand-assisted laparoscopic transhiatal procedure allows for en bloc lymphadenectomy in the middle and lower mediastinum including the subcarinal and bilateral main bronchial lymph nodes. Cervical and transhiatal procedures were performed safely and carefully under video-assisted magnified vision according to the standardized procedure with an appropriate operative field expansion using retractors.
Conclusions: Single-port MATHE is feasible as a novel minimally invasive surgery for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) or thoracic esophageal cancer.

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