Gastro-esophageal junction cancers: what is the best minimally invasive approach?
The short-term advantages of minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) in terms of less morbidity and better quality of life (QoL) in comparison with open esophagectomy (OE) became visible in the last few years. There are two main MIE approaches: a transthoracic esophagectomy (TTE) (either accompanied by an intrathoracic or cervical anastomosis) or a transhiatal esophagectomy (THE) (accompanied by a cervical anastomosis). Additionally, minimally invasive gastrectomy is increasingly gaining popularity over open gastrectomy. Controversy still exists about what approach is the best for esophagogastric junction tumors (EGJ) and the choice of the approach is currently based on the surgeons’ discretion. In this study, we describe the definition, staging and classification, indications for each minimally invasive approach for EGJ tumors, the surgical technique, current developments and problems regarding surgical treatment for patients with cancer of the EGJ.