Background: Esophagectomy followed by gastric conduit reconstruction is a standard surgical procedure for esophageal cancer. However, there is no evidence of the superiority or inferiority of the posterior mediastinal (PM) versus the retrosternal (RS) reconstruction route with regard to short-term outcomes after esophagectomy. We aimed to elucidate whether the reconstruction route can affect the short-term outcomes after esophagectomy followed by gastric conduit reconstruction. Methods: We reviewed the clinical data of patients who underwent esophagectomy between 2016 and 2018 from the Japanese National Clinical Database. This study included 9786 patients who underwent gastric conduit reconstruction through the PM or RS route with cervical anastomosis. Results: Of the 9786 patients analyzed, 3478 and 6308 underwent gastric conduit reconstruction thorough the PM and RS routes, respectively. The incidence of anastomotic leak and surgical site infection (SSI) was significantly lower in the PM group than in the RS group (11.7% vs 13.8%, P =.005 and 8.4% vs 14.9%, P <.001, respectively), while the incidence of pneumonia was higher in the PM group (13.7% vs 12.2%, P =.040). Generalized estimating equation logistic regression analysis revealed a higher risk of anastomotic leak and SSI (odds ratio [OR], 1.32; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15–1.51; P <.001 and OR, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.78–2.38; P <.001, respectively) and a lower risk of pneumonia (OR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.75–0.98; P =.028) in the RS group than in the PM group. Conclusion: The findings of this study will help surgeons to design the reconstruction route following esophagectomy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas