Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy: A Consensus Statement.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Annals of thoracic surgery


BACKGROUND: Minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) is increasingly performed in various ways. The lack of international definitions and nomenclature makes accurate comparison of outcomes difficult.

METHODS: An international, multi-specialty consensus-writing committee constructed definitions and nomenclature for MIE. After a PubMed search, vetting, and review with all authors a consensus was reached.

RESULTS: The proposed definition for MIE is an operation "that removes part or all of the esophagus, does not retract, lift, spread or remove any part of the chest or abdominal wall and the surgeon's and assistant's vision of the operative field is via a monitor, the patient's tissue is manipulated only by instruments that are controlled by the operating surgeon or team, except for during the neck portion if used." A flexible nomenclature is proposed that attempts to describes current and future operations and systems.

CONCLUSIONS: Definitions and nomenclature for MIE are needed to ensure that future studies accurately compare results and outcomes of similar operations. Nomenclatures allow surgeons, researchers and patients from different cultures to use a common language to facilitate communication and compare. This process is required in order to improve patient outcomes globally to drive adoption of best of practice yet is lacking for minimally invasive esophagectomy.

Clinical Institute


Clinical Institute

Digestive Health


Swedish Thoracic Surgery


Swedish Digestive Health Institute