Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1993 Feb;105(2):265-76; discussion 276-7.

Transhiatal esophagectomy for benign and malignant disease.

Author information

Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109.


Transhiatal esophagectomy has been performed in 583 patients with diseases of the intrathoracic esophagus: 166 (28%) benign and 417 (72%) malignant (6% upper, 28% middle, and 66% lower third and cardia). The benign esophageal diseases included strictures (40%); neuromotor dysfunction-achalasia (24%), esophageal spasm (8%); recurrent gastroesophageal reflux (16%); acute perforation (5%); acute caustic injury (2%); and others (3%). Among the patients with benign disease, 60% had undergone at least one prior esophageal operation. Transhiatal esophagectomy was possible in 97% of patients in whom it was attempted, 19 patients (13 with benign disease and 6 with carcinoma) requiring addition of a thoracotomy for esophageal resection. Esophageal resection and reconstruction were performed in a single operation in all but 5 patients. The esophageal substitute was positioned in the posterior mediastinum in the original esophageal bed in 96%. Stomach was used to replace the esophagus in 553 patients (95%) and colon in 28 (5%) who had undergone prior gastric resections. Overall hospital mortality was 5% in patients with benign disease and 5% in those with carcinoma. There was 1 intraoperative death caused by uncontrollable hemorrhage. Complications included intraoperative entry into a pleural cavity necessitating a chest tube (74%), anastomotic leak (9%), recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis (3%), and chylothorax and tracheal laceration (< 1% each). Three patients required reoperation for mediastinal bleeding. Average intraoperative blood loss was 875 ml (1023 ml for benign disease and 817 ml for carcinoma). Of the surviving patients, 88% were discharged able to swallow within 3 weeks of operation and 78% within 2 weeks. The actuarial survival of the patients with carcinoma is similar to that reported after more traditional transthoracic esophagectomy. Among patients with benign disease, good or excellent functional results have been achieved in nearly 70% after a cervical esophagogastric anastomosis. Although approximately 44% have required one or more anastomotic dilations within 1 to 3 months of operation, true anastomotic strictures have developed in 10%. Clinically troublesome nocturnal reflux has occurred in 3%. Transhiatal esophagectomy is feasible in most patients requiring esophageal resection for either benign or malignant disease and is a safe, well-tolerated operation if performed with care and for the proper indications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center