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Annals of Surgical Oncology

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Early Outcomes of Robot-Assisted Versus Thoracoscopic-Assisted Ivor Lewis Esophagectomy for Esophageal Cancer: A Propensity Score-Matched Study

Yajie Zhang MD, PhD, Yu Han MD, Qinyi Gan MD, Jie Xiang MD, Runsen Jin MD, PhD, Kai Chen MD, Jiaming Che MD, Junbiao Hang MD, Hecheng Li MD, PhD
Thoracic Oncology
Volume 26, Issue 5 / May , 2019



Both robot-assisted Ivor Lewis esophagectomy (RAILE) and conventional thoracoscopic-assisted Ivor Lewis esophagectomy (TAILE) are minimally invasive surgical techniques for the treatment of middle and distal esophageal cancer. However, no research studies comparing early outcomes between RAILE and TAILE have been reported.


A retrospective analysis was made of 184 patients, 76 in the RAILE group and 108 in the TAILE group, who underwent minimally invasive Ivor Lewis esophagectomy between December 2014 and June 2018. Propensity score-matched analysis was performed between the two groups based on demographics, comorbidities, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, tumor location, tumor size, and pathological stage. Perioperative outcomes were compared.


Two conversions to thoracotomy occurred in the RAILE group. There was no 30-day in either group. Sixty-six matched pairs were identified for each group. Within the propensity score-matched cohorts, the operative time in the RAILE group was significantly longer than that in the TAILE group (302.0 ± 62.9 vs. 274.7 ± 38.0 min, P = 0.004). There was no significant difference in the blood loss [200.0 ml (interquartile range [IQR], 100.0–262.5 ml) vs. 200.0 ml (150.0–245.0 ml), P = 0.100], rates of overall complications (28.8 vs. 24.2%, P = 0.554), length of stay [9.0 days (IQR 8.0–12.3 days) vs. 9.0 days (IQR 8.0–11.3 days), P = 0.517], the number of total dissected lymph nodes (19.2 ± 9.2 vs. 19.3 ± 9.5, P = 0.955), and detailed categories of lymph nodes.


RAILE demonstrated comparable early outcomes compared with TAILE and should be considered as an alternative minimally invasive option for treating esophageal cancer.

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