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Dis Esophagus. 2001;14(2):124-30.

Does the interponat affect outcome after esophagectomy for cancer?

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Department of Surgery, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont., Canada.


Clinical decision-making in esophageal cancer surgery is a process of balancing the risks of treatment against potential benefits, such as survival and quality of life. Various options are available for esophageal reconstruction. While these reconstructive options do not directly have an impact on cancer survival, they do affect operative morbidity and long-term quality of life. The affect of various interponats (reconstructive conduits) and routes of reconstruction on operative morbidity and foregut function is reviewed. Gastric interponats are preferred for esophageal reconstruction because of their reliable vascularity and the relative simplicity of the reconstructive operation. Colon interponats supposedly provide better long-term function as an esophageal substitute (unproven), but at the cost of increased operative complexity and morbidity. Colon interposition is therefore reserved for situations in which gastric transposition is not feasible. Both posterior and anterior mediastinal routes of gastric interponat reconstruction are acceptable (meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials). Posterior mediastinal reconstruction is usually preferred when a complete (R0) resection has been accomplished. Anterior mediastinal reconstruction may prevent secondary dysphagia after incomplete (R1, R2) resections.

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