Significance of extended radical surgical treatment including three-field lymph node dissection for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the esophagus remains debatable. The aim of the current study was to reconsider the merits and demerits obtained by three-field lymph node dissection for esophageal carcinoma and also to attempt to elucidate an appropriate surgical strategy for submucosal SCC of the thoracic esophagus. Thirty-one patients with SCC of the thoracic esophagus who had been treated with esophagectomy and two-field (thoracic and abdominal) lymph node dissection without preoperative therapies were enrolled. Five-year survival rate was 75.0% and the incidence proportion of postoperative complication was 9.7%. These data regarding postoperative outcome of patients were by no means inferior to those in the previous reports referring the prognosis of patients with esophageal carcinoma who had been treated with three-field lymph node dissection. Authors would like to mention that two-field lymph node dissection associated with reduced incidence of postoperative complications might be enough to treat the submucosal SCC of the thoracic esophagus.
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