Background: Complex esophageal reconstruction (CER) is defined as restoring esophageal continuity in a previously operated field, using a nongastric conduit, or after esophageal diversion. This study compares the outcomes of CER with non-CER (NCER), which uses an undisturbed stomach for reconstruction. Methods: This single-institution retrospective cohort study compares 75 CERs with 75 NCERs from 1995 to 2014 that were matched for cancer versus benign disease. Distributions of demographic characteristics, comorbidities, and complications were compared between CER and NCER. Odds of mortality at 30 and 90 days were calculated with logistic regression. Overall survival was illustrated with Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards regression. Results: Although patients were similar in age, sex, and preoperative comorbidities, more non-white patients underwent CER (p = 0.04). Most NCER patients had adenocarcinoma (44%) or Barrett's high-grade dysplasia (39%); most CER patients had other benign disease (44%) or squamous cell carcinoma (24%, p <0.01). CER had statistically significantly higher rates of reoperation, pneumonia, infection, and gastrointestinal complications, and longer median length of stay than NCER. Odds of mortality for CER and NCER at 30 days (odds ratio [OR] 1.0, 95% CI: 0.1 to 16.3), 90 days (OR 2.6, 95% CI: 0.5 to 13.9) and overall (adjusted hazard ratio 1.56, 95% CI: 0.9 to 2.7) were not statistically significantly different. Conclusions: Compared with NCER, CER patients had higher rates of return to the operating room, more postoperative infections and gastrointestinal complications, and longer length of stay. However, 30-day, 90-day, and overall survival were similar. CER should be offered to patients with acceptable risks and anticipated long-term survival.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine