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Anaesthesist. 2013 Oct;62(10):836-44. doi: 10.1007/s00101-013-2223-5.

[Minimally invasive abdominothoracic esophagus resection by transoral esophagogastrostomy: interdisciplinary challenge].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Allgemein-, Viszeral- und Transplantationschirurgie, Universitätsmedizin Mainz, Universitätsklinikum der Johannes-Gutenberg Universität, Langenbeckstr. 1, 55131, Mainz, Deutschland.



Resection of the esophagus is an invasive 2-cavitiy procedure which requires special anesthesiological expertise during perioperative care. Furthermore, in surgery new minimally invasive techniques are continually being established which place special challenges on the treatment team because the anesthesiologist is decisively involved in the course of surgery.


The aim of this article is to present the development of surgical treatment options for esophageal cancer starting from classical open resection up to the minimally invasive technique of esophagectomy (MIE). Previous experience with MIE on a cohort of patients is presented and the special anesthesiological characteristics of this innovative technique are illustrated.


In the department for general, visceral and transplantation surgery of the University Medical Center of Mainz, minimally invasive abdominothoracic esophageal resection has been carried out since 2010. High thoracic anastomization was performed using the EEA™-OrVil™ system operated by the anesthesiologist. Currently 17 highly selected patients have been surgically treated using this technique.


Esophagogastric anastomosis with the EEA™-OrVil™ system was feasible in all patients. Transoral introduction of the gastric probe with the connecting sheath and the angled anvil led to minor dislocation of the double lumen tube in only one patient and could immediately be corrected. Further intraoperative complications did not occur. Four of the 17 patients developed pneumonia which could be controlled by intravenous antibiotics. None of the patients had to be reintubated. One patient developed gastric tube necrosis and died 51 days postoperatively due to massive intracerebral hemorrhage. There were no complications of anastomoses following OrVil™ anastomization. In all patients an R0 resection could be achieved.


Minimally invasive esophagectomy with transoral anastomization appears to be an enrichment of the minimally invasive spectrum as interdisciplinary cooperation leads to reduced operation time and a more efficient process of anastomization. This also results in decreased one-lung ventilation time which is directly correlated to postoperative pulmonary complications. In particular, the interdisciplinary character of this technique and the necessity for targeted communication proved to be of assistance also in other situations.

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