Long-term functional outcomes after replacement of the esophagus with gastric, colonic, or jejunal conduits: A systematic literature review

T. Irino, A. Tsekrekos, A. Coppola, C. M. Scandavini, A. Shetye, L. Lundell, Ioannis Rouvelas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


It is generally recognized that in patients with an intact stomach diagnosed with esophageal cancer, gastric tubulization and pull-up shall always be the preferred technique for reconstruction after an esophageal resection. However, in cases with extensive gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer with aboral spread and after previous gastric surgery, alternative methods for reconstruction have to be pursued. Moreover, in benign cases as well as in those with early neoplastic lesions of the esophagus and the GEJ that are associated with long survival, it is basically unclear which conduit should be recommended. The aim of this study is to determine the long-term functional outcomes of different conduits used for esophageal replacement, based on a comprehensive literature review. Eligible were all clinical studies reporting outcomes after esophagectomy, which contained information on at least three years of follow-up after the operation in patients who were older than 18 years of age at the time of the operation. The review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. A systematic web-based search using MEDLINE, the Cochrane Library, and EMBASE databases was performed, reviewing medical literature published between January 2006 and December 2015. The scientific quality of the data was generally low, which allowed us to incorporate only 16 full text articles for the final analyses. After a gastric pull-up, the proportion of patients who suffered from dysphagia varied substantially but seemed to decrease over time with a mild dysphagia remaining during long-term follow-up.When reflux-related symptoms and complications were addressed, roughly two third of patients experienced mild to moderate reflux symptoms a long time after the resection. Following an isoperistaltic colonic graft, the functional long-term outcomes regarding swallowing difficulties were sparsely reported, while three studies reported reflux/regurgitation symptoms in the range of 5% to 16%, one of which reported the symptom severity as being mild. Only one report was available after the use of a long jejunal segment, which contained only six patients, who scored the severity of dysphagia and reflux as mild. Very few if any data were available on a structured assessment of dumping and disturbed bowel functions. Few high-quality data are available on the long-term functional outcomes after esophageal replacement irrespective of the use of a gastric tube, the right or left colon or a long jejunal segment. No firm conclusions regarding the advantages of one graft over the other can presently be drawn.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdox083
JournalDiseases of the Esophagus
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Dumping
  • Dysphagia
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Esophageal resection
  • Long-term follow-up
  • Postoperative complaints

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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