Effects of improving outcomes after esophagectomy on the short- and long-term: a review of literature
An esophagectomy is still correlated with a high morbidity rate, despite advances made in minimally invasive surgery, enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) and centralization of this type of surgery. The short-term benefits are clearly described for esophageal cancer surgery patients, however, the long-term effects are yet to be determined. In colorectal cancer, the association between complications, especially anastomotic leakage, shows detrimental effects on long-term survival and cancer recurrence. In esophageal cancer surgery, current evidence is scarce and the described results are conflicting. Optimization of perioperative care by introduction of minimally invasive surgery, ERAS programs and patient prehabilitation is promising and shows a clear effect on short-term outcomes. Potentially, this may also result in better outcomes on the long-term, although current evidence is insufficient to infer definite conclusions. Reduction of anastomotic leakage seems important to reduce risk of cancer recurrence and improve long-term outcome.