Prognosis of patients with recurrent esophageal cancer is usually unsatisfactory. We have successfully treated five patients with cervical node recurrence after esophagectomy with multimodal treatment including salvage lymphadenectomy. In order to clarify the efficacy of salvage surgery for cervical node recurrence, we have reviewed the clinical course and prognosis of these patients. From August 2004 to December 2007, 30 patients with 33 recurrent sites were treated in the Department of Surgery, Iizuka Hospital. Among these patients, there were five patients with recurrence limited within the cervical nodes. Salvage cervical lymphadenectomy was performed for all five patients. Curative resection was achieved in four patients and reduction surgery followed by planned chemoradiotherapy was performed in another patient. All stations including the suspicious node were dissected and a partial sternotomy was added for one patient whose recurrent tumor was located in the right recurrent nerve node. There was no mortality and one minor complication (subcutaneous hemorrhage) was observed. Median duration of hospital stay was 7 days. Adjuvant chemotherapy was performed for all patients. Median follow-up period was 54 months and all patients are alive without relapse of the disease. Salvage cervical lymphadenectomy is a safe and effective treatment for patients with cervical node recurrence after esophagectomy.
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