Background: One upside of cervical esophageal carcinoma is that radical surgery can be performed by laryngectomy, even for tumors with tracheal invasion. However, this approach drastically reduces the quality of life, such as by losing the vocal function. Cervical esophageal carcinoma is rare, and no comprehensive reports have described the current state of surgery. Using a Japanese nationwide web-based database, we analyzed the surgical outcomes of cervical esophageal carcinoma to evaluate the impact of larynx-preserving surgery. Methods: Based on the Japan National Clinical Database, 215 surgically treated cases of cervical esophageal carcinoma between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2019, were enrolled. Clinical outcomes were compared between the larynx-preserved group and the laryngectomy group. Results: Ninety-four (43.7%) patients underwent larynx-preserving surgery. A total of 177 (82.3%) patients underwent free jejunum reconstruction. More T4b patients and more patients who underwent preoperative radiotherapy were in the laryngectomy group. There were no significant differences in the frequency and the severity of morbidities between the two groups. However, in the laryngectomy group, in-hospital death within 30 days after surgery was observed in 1 patient, and the postoperative hospital stay was significantly longer (P = 0.030). In the larynx-preserved group, recurrent nerve paralysis was observed in 24.5%. Re-operation (35.3%, P = 0.016), re-intubation (17.6%, P = 0.019) and tracheal necrosis (17.6%, P = 0.028) were significantly more frequent in patients who underwent pharyngolaryngectomy with total esophagectomy and gastric tube reconstruction than in others. Conclusion: Larynx-preserving surgery was therefore considered to be feasible because it was equivalent to laryngectomy regarding the short-term surgical outcomes.
- Cervical esophageal carcinoma
- Larynx-preserving surgery
- Operative morbidity
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