Robot-assisted intrathoracic lymph node dissection for esophagectomy
Esophageal cancer is a lethal neoplasm with frequent lymph node metastasis. Thoracic lymph node dissection is an essential part of radical surgery, especially the lymph nodes along recurrent laryngeal nerves (RLNs). In recent years, minimally invasive esophagectomies have been increasingly performed around the world. In particular, the robotic system provides great accessibility for subtle manipulations in lymph node dissection. This review focuses on the characteristics of intrathoracic lymph node metastasis, the impact of robotic system on intrathoracic lymph node dissection and in particular, RLN lymph node dissection, and lymphadenectomy-related complications.