Intraoperative near infrared fluorescence imaging for the assessment of the gastric conduit
Esophagectomy remains a mainstay of multi-modality therapy in the treatment of malignant disease, as well as selected benign conditions. Anastomotic and conduit complications remain the Achilles’ heel of these operations, contributing to major morbidity and mortality. Adequate vascular perfusion of the gastric conduit is vital to avoid these complications, with surgeon observational assessment the mainstay of determining the vascular health of the gastric conduit. Rates of morbidity remain significant, and technologies aimed at better assessing relative tissue perfusion and ischemia are increasingly under investigation and utilized. One such technique is the use of intraoperative near-infrared fluorescence imaging to directly assess these parameters. The application of this technique has shown promise in perfusion assessment during esophagectomy, and potential reduction in anastomotic complications.