Robotic-assisted transhiatal esophagectomy (RATE) is a technically complex procedure with potential for improved postoperative outcomes. In this report, we describe our experience with RATE in a large case series. A retrospective review was conducted to collect clinical, outcomes, and survival data for 100 consecutive patients with esophageal cancer (n = 98) and benign (n = 2) conditions undergoing RATE between March 2007 and December 2014. Progression-free (PFS) and overall (OS) survival were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier curves with comparisons by log-rank tests. Median operative time and estimated blood loss were 264 minutes and 75 mL, respectively. Median intensive care unit stay was 1 day and median length of hospital stay was 8 days. Postoperative complications commonly observed were nonmalignant pleural effusion (38%) and recurrent laryngeal nerve injury (33%); 30 day mortality rate was 2%. Median number of lymph nodes removed during RATE was 17 and R0 resection was achieved in 97.8% patients. At the end of the median follow-up period of 27.7 months, median PFS was 41 months and median OS was 54 months. 1-year and 3-year PFS rates were 82% (95% CI, 75%-89%) and 53% (95% CI, 42%-62%), respectively, and OS rates were 95% (95% CI, 91%-99%) and 57% (95% CI, 46%-67%). In our experience, RATE is an effective and safe oncologic surgical procedure in a carefully selected group of patients with acceptable operative time, minimal blood loss, standard postoperative morbidity and adequate PFS and OS profiles.
- Esophageal cancer