Modified McKeown procedure with uniportal thoracoscope for upper or middle esophageal cancer: initial experience and preliminary results

Qi Wang, Wei Ping, Yixin Cai, Shengling Fu, Xiangning Fu, Ni Zhang


Background: Uniportal video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) resections are of increasing interest in many thoracic surgery departments. With each experience in VATS lobectomy, we have incrementally improved the less invasive techniques in esophagectomy. Here, we report the preliminary results and feasibility of a modified McKeown procedure with uniportal thoracoscopy for upper or middle esophageal cancer in our institution.
Methods: Between March 2015 and May 2016, modified uniportal McKeown procedure with uniportal thoracoscopy for upper or middle esophageal cancer was attempted in 44 patients in our institution.
Results: Of the patients treated with uniportal thoracoscopy and laparoscopy, no patients were converted to open procedures, and all had a complete resection. The mean operative time was 408±34 min (range, 394–495 min). The mean thoracic operation was 163±16 min (range, 135–199 min). The mean blood loss was 245±102 mL (range, 100–450 mL). The mean number of lymph nodes resected was 24 (range, 14–36). The mean ventilator usage of the patients after surgery was 0.3±0.6 days, and the mean intensive care stay was 1.6 days (range, 1 to 7 days). The mean hospital stay was 11.8 days (range, 7 to 22 days). Major complications developed in 2 patients, both of whom had to undergo tracheotomy due to respiratory failure. No patients died of complications postoperatively, and none had clinically significant anastomotic leaks.
Conclusions: Modified McKeown minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) with uniportal thoracoscopy seems to be a feasible option for patients with upper or middle esophageal cancer. Larger studies with longer follow-up are needed to further investigate this approach.