Minimally Invasive Circumferential Hiatal Dissection for the Treatment of Adenocarcinoma of the Distal Esophagus and Esophago-gastric Junction: Technical Considerations Combined With Histopathological Outcomes.
BACKGROUND/AIM: Circumferential resection margin involvement is an independent prognostic factor in patients with adenocarcinoma of the distal esophagus and esophago-gastric junction. However, there is currently no consensus on the extent and the technique of hiatal dissection. We describe a minimally invasive technique of circumferential hiatal dissection for adenocarcinoma of the distal esophagus and esophago-gastric junction with its related histopathological results. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A prospective study of 40 consecutive patients undergoing hybrid (laparoscopic/thoracotomic) or totally minimally invasive Ivor-Lewis esophagogastrectomy over a period of 21 months was conducted. Dissection of the hiatus included peri-esophageal surrounding tissues in a cylindrical fashion maximizing the distance from the oesophageal wall. Crural muscle fibers and pleura bilaterally, pericardial fat anteriorly and pre-aortic tissue posteriorly were excised en bloc. Histopathological results particularly focused on involvement of the circumferential resection margin. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy wasgiven to 24 (60%) patients. RESULTS: Complete histological clearance (R0) was achieved in 92.5% (n=37) according to the criteria of the College of American Pathologists and in 87.5% (n=35) according to those of the Royal College of Pathologists. In pT3 tumors (n=22), the circumferential resection margin was negative in 20 patients (91%) according to the College of American Pathologists, and in 17 (77%) according to the Royal College of Pathologists. CONCLUSION: Adoption of this safe and reproducible technique might reduce the incidence of circumferential resection margin involvement and improve pathological outcomes. In addition, there may be positive implications for training and quality control.