Korean J Gastroenterol.  2007 Oct;50(4):226-232.

Minimally Invasive Surgery for Esophageal Cancer

  • 1Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea.kjna@chonnam.ac.kr


Minimally invasive surgery is now rapidly developing and becoming a standard surgical option in some fields. In the past, many thoracic surgeons were reluctant to adopt minimally invasive techniques in esophageal cancer surgery due to concern over the oncologic perspectives and technical difficulties. However, over the last few years, thoracic surgeons have progressively embraced the technical advancements and now many experienced centers have adopt minimally invasive surgery as a primary option for non-advanced esophageal cancer operations. In esophageal cancer surgery, the volume of operation performed in some hospital is closely related to the outcome of patients, and the experiences of surgical team play an important role in minimally invasive surgery. Minimally invasive esophageal surgery (MIES) has steep learning curves, also. The merits of MIES are as follows. The conventional esophageal cancer operation has two or triple incisions, resulting in high postoperative morbidity and mortality. However, postoperative complication in MIES became less frequent than conventional surgery. The patient's satisfaction is high. Mid-term outcomes of MIES have been reported that it is safe and feasible in esophageal cancer and survival curves are similar to those of conventional surgery. Therefore, MIES is a valuable therapeutic modality for both esophageal cancer patients and thoracic surgeons.


Esophageal cancer; Thoracoscopy; Laparoscopy; Minimally invasive esophageal surgery
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