Philip Linden, MD, Chief, Division of Thoracic & Esophageal Surgery at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, was invited to present UH’s excellent esophageal surgery outcomes at the 100th annual meeting of the American Association of Thoracic Surgery in Boston on May 3.
Dr. Linden reported on 200 consecutive esophageal resections and reconstructions without any mortality. The typical mortality rate in the United States for this operation is 3-10 percent. He described the novel use of drain amylase levels as a noninvasive test for early detection of esophageal leaks. This test and early detection of other complications allowed for rapid and aggressive intervention which was instrumental in preventing mortality.
The nature of esophagectomy, an operation traversing the chest, abdomen and neck, places patients at risk for major complications. The majority of the operations in this series at UH Cleveland Medical Center were done minimally invasively, limiting adverse events, and with average length of stays far less than the average for even large specialty care centers.