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Surg Today. 2014 Feb;44(2):395-8. doi: 10.1007/s00595-013-0797-9. Epub 2013 Nov 29.

Two-stage operation for thoracic esophageal cancer: esophagectomy and subsequent reconstruction by a free jejunal flap.

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  • 1Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan,


When the stomach is unavailable for esophageal reconstruction due to previous gastrectomy or synchronous gastric cancer, a pedicled jejunum or colon, with or without vascular supercharge, has been the alternative. However, these reconstructions are not free from severe complications, such as necrosis. We have introduced a new surgical technique for delayed esophageal reconstruction using a free jejunal flap. We used this technique in 11 patients. Four weeks after subtotal esophagectomy, reconstruction using free jejunal flaps was performed. A free jejunum was placed at the pre-sternum, and the internal thoracic artery and vein were usually used as the recipient vessels. There were no cases of flap necrosis and no hospital deaths. Anastomotic leakage occurred in two cases. Both leakages were cured by conservative treatment. Delayed esophageal reconstruction using a free jejunal flap can be considered to be a safe procedure when the stomach is unavailable as an esophageal substitute.

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