Background: Total removal of the gastric conduit (TRGC) due to gastric cancer after esophagectomy often results in high operative morbidity and mortality rates, especially when done in the posterior mediastinum. This is one of the reasons for the retro-sternal or subcutaneous route being preferred for gastric conduit replacement in esophageal cancer operation. Patients: Five out of 680 post-operative esophageal cancer patients underwent TRGC via thoracotomy and laparotomy due to posterior mediastinal gastric conduit cancers. Results: In these patients, advanced gastric cancers were found at an average of 84 months (ranging 57-136 months) after esophageal cancer surgery and preoperative risk factors for TRGC were found in age, nutrition, and pulmonary function. The operative time for TRGC was long (average 670 min) but not associated with operative complications, while blood loss varied among patients, with one with the most operative blood loss dying after surgery due to pyothorax and renal failure. This case, and another early case subjected to TRGC first with thoracotomy then followed by laparotomy, showed more operative blood loss (10,895 and 3,260 ml) than the later three patients (2,370, 1,900, and 1,780 ml), who underwent laparotomy before thoracotomy with ligation of the blood supply of the gastric conduit and lysis of adhesion around gastric conduit in the lower mediastinum from the abdomen. Conclusion: TRGC in the posterior mediastinum would be safer if operative manipulation were started from laparotomy in order to reduce operative blood loss.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes