Background: Anatomical esophageal position may affect the short-term outcomes after minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE). A previous single-institutional retrospective study suggested that the presence of a left-sided esophagus (LSE) made MIE more difficult and increased the incidence of postoperative complications. Methods: The current study was a multicenter retrospective study of 303 patients with esophageal cancer who underwent MIE at six esophageal cancer high-volume centers in Kyushu, Japan, between April 2011 and August 2016. The patients were divided into the LSE (66 patients) and non-LSE groups (237 patients) based on the esophageal position on computed tomography images obtained with the patients in the supine position. Results: Univariate analysis showed that patients with LSE were significantly older than those with non-LSE (69 ± 8 vs. 65 ± 9 years; P = 0.002), had a significantly greater incidence of cardiovascular comorbidity (65.2% vs. 47.7%; P = 0.013), and a significantly longer operating time (612 ± 112 vs. 579 ± 102 min; P = 0.025). Logistic regression analysis verified that LSE was an independent risk factor for the incidence of pneumonia (odds ratio 3.3, 95% confidence interval 1.254–8.695; P = 0.016). Conclusions: The presence of a LSE can increase the procedural difficulty of MIE and the incidence of morbidity after MIE. Thus, careful attention must be paid to anatomical esophageal position before performing MIE.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes