Background: Esophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer and the sixth most common cause of death from cancer. Esophagectomy is still the essential treatment for esophageal cancer despite its high morbidity rate. The prediction of complications that are likely to appear after surgery can be the most critical factor in reducing morbidity.
Objectives: The present study aimed to examine the postoperative complications and causes of mortality in patients undergoing esophagectomy for esophageal cancer.
Methods: Data from 34 patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma undergoing esophagectomy in the general surgery clinic of Çukurova University Medical School Hospital were collected and analyzed retrospectively between January 1, 2011, and January 1, 2020. Postoperative complications were identified according to the Clavien-Dindo classification (CD). “The patients were assigned into two groups (Group 1 and Group 2). Group 1 and Group 2 included patients with CD grade <3 and CD grade >3, respectively.”
Results: The mean±SD age of patients (n=34) undergoing resection for esophageal cancer was obtained at 56.38±11.00 years. The ratio of female to male patients was equal. The most common accompanying disease was diabetes mellitus. The number of patients with the American Society of Anesthesiologists score 3 was higher in Group 2 (P=0.034). The tumor was most frequently located in the lower thoracic esophagus of patients in Group 1 and Group 2, and the rate of cervical anastomosis was higher in Group 2. The rate of manual anastomosis was higher in both groups. Respiratory complications were the most frequent complication in both groups; however, a higher rate of respiratory complications was observed in Group 2 (P=0.038). The postoperative 30-days mortality and the reoperation rate were higher in Group 2.
Conclusion: Radical surgery for esophageal cancer results in a high rate of complications and death due to the location of the tumor and diagnosis at the advanced stage. Complications and mortality may result from patient-related factors and the surgical technique. The diagnosis and treatment of the correctable causes before surgery can enhance the chance of survival and the quality of life in patients.
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