An ivor lewis esophagectomy designed to minimize anastomotic complications and optimize conduit function

Neal K. Ramchandani, Kenneth A. Kesler, Jonathon D. Rogers, Nakul Valsangkar, Samatha M. Stokes, Shadia I. Jalal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We describe a novel esophagogastric anastomotic technique (“side-to-side: staple line-on-staple line”, STS) for intrathoracic anastomoses designed to create a large diameter anastomosis while simultaneously maintaining conduit blood supply. This technique aims to minimize the incidence of anastomotic leaks and strictures, which is a frequent source of morbidity and occasional mortality after esophagectomy. We analyze the results of this STS technique on 368 patients and compared outcomes to 112 patients who underwent esophagogastric anastomoses using an end-to-end stapler (EEA) over an 8-year time interval at our institution. The STS technique involves aligning the remaining intrathoracic esophagus over the tip of the lesser curve staple line of a stomach tube, created as a replacement conduit for the esophagus. A linear stapling device cuts through and restaples the conduit staple line to the lateral wall of the esophagus in a side-to-side fashion. The open common lumen is then closed in two layers of sutures. There was a total of 12 (3.8%) anastomotic leaks in patients who underwent STS esophagogastric anastomosis. Two of eight patients (25%) had anastomotic leaks after esophagectomy for end-stage achalasia as compared to a 2.8% leak rate (10/336) after esophagectomy for other conditions. Eighteen (5.2%) patients required a median of 2 dilatations for anastomotic stricture after STS anastomosis. Supplemental jejunostomy feedings were required in only 11.1% of patients undergoing STS anastomoses following hospital discharge. In contrast, patients undergoing EEA anastomoses demonstrated anastomotic leak and stricture rates of 16.1% and 14.3% respectively (p<0.01). Time analysis of postoperative contrast studies following the STS technique typically demonstrated a straight/uniform diameter conduit with essentially complete contrast emptying into the small bowel within 3 minutes in 88.4% of patients. The incidence of esophagogastric anastomotic leaks and strictures were extremely low using this novel anastomotic technique. Additionally we believe that based on time and qualitative analyses of postoperative contrast studies, this technique appears to optimize postoperative upper gastrointestinal tract function; however, further comparative studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere59255
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number158
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Cancer Research
  • Esophageal Neoplasms
  • Esophageal Strictures
  • Esophagectomy
  • Issue 158
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Quality of Life
  • Thoracic Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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