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Surg Today. 2007;37(7):590-5. Epub 2007 Jun 26.

Salvage lymphadenectomy of the right recurrent nerve node with tracheal involvement after definitive chemoradiation therapy for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: report of two cases.

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Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, 2-2-E2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan.


Thoracic esophageal cancers frequently metastasize to the right recurrent nerve nodes (RRNNs). In fact, huge RRNNs invading the trachea sometimes remain after definitive chemoradiation therapy (CRT), despite complete remission of the primary lesion. We performed salvage lymphadenectomy of a large RRNN combined with partial resection of the trachea in two patients. Using an anterior approach, we removed part of the sternum, clavicle, and the first and second costal cartilage; then, we removed the RRNNs with combined resection of the lateral quarter circumference of the trachea, the esophageal wall, and the recurrent nerve. Reconstruction was done with a musculocutaneous patch of major pectoral muscle to cover the tracheal defect. The only minor complication was venous thrombosis in one patient. Thus, combined removal of the RRNN and trachea was performed safely as a salvage operation after definitive CRT for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

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