Article Abstract

Comparison of right- and left-approach esophagectomy for elderly patients with operable thoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: a propensity matched study

Authors: Qianwen Liu, Junying Chen, Jing Wen, Hong Yang, Yi Hu, Kongjia Luo, Zihui Tan, Jianhua Fu


Background: the right- and left-approach open esophagectomies remain the general procedures among patients with operable thoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). The choice between the two approaches for elderly patients is controversial.
Methods: we performed a 1:1 propensity score matching (PSM) analysis to compare the impact of right- and left-approach esophagectomies on survival and perioperative complications of elderly ESCC patients. Patients aged over 70 receiving esophagectomy to treat the thoracic ESCC were retrospectively retrieved.
Results: a total of 276 patients were included in the study. Among them, 75 (27.2%) patients received right-approach esophagectomy. After match, 114 patients (57 pairs) undertook right or left-approach esophagectomy displayed no difference among clinicopathological characteristics. Both the overall survival (54.6% vs. 32.6%, P=0.036) and disease-free survival (52.7% vs. 20.2%, P=0.021) were significant better in right-approach group, along with better lymph node resection, and lower incidence of recurrence. However, increased incidences of postoperative pneumonia (P=0.040), respiratory failure (P=0.028), and sub-clinical anastomotic leak (P=0.032) were found in right-approach group as well, although the perioperative mortality was similar between groups.
Conclusions: Right-approach esophagectomy should be accepted as a preferential surgical approach for elderly patients with ESCC.