Oesophageal cancer resection carries a risk of nutritional disorders. The aim of this study was to estimate weight change after surgery in a population-based setting and to identify nutritional problems that might correlate with weight loss.
Data were collected through the Swedish Esophageal and Cardia Cancer Register, a nationwide registry of oesophageal cancer surgery. Patients who underwent oesophageal cancer surgery between 2001 and 2004 were followed up until April 2005, and data on patient and tumour characteristics and surgical treatment were collected. Six months after surgery the patients were asked to complete a questionnaire about weight and a health-related quality of life questionnaire (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC QLQ-C30) with an oesophageal-specific module (EORTC QLQ-OES18)).
The response rate to the questionnaire was 76·9 per cent and weight change in 226 patients was analysed. Six months after operation 63·7 per cent had lost more than 10 per cent of their preoperative BMI, and 20·4 per cent had lost more than 20 per cent. Appetite loss, eating difficulties and odynophagia were significantly linked to postoperative weight loss, whereas dysphagia or reflux did not correlate with malnutrition.
Malnutrition is a considerable problem after oesophagectomy, and is linked to appetite loss, eating difficulties and odynophagia. Copyright © 2007 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.