Esophageal replacement by colon interposition with microvascular surgery for patients with thoracic esophageal cancer: the utility of superdrainage


  • Sources of support: This work was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology of Japan.

  • Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest: No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.

Dr. Hiroshi Saeki, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery and Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, 812-8582 Fukuoka, Japan. Email:


Replacing the thoracic esophagus with the colon is one mode of reconstruction after esophagectomy for esophageal cancer. There is, however, a high incidence of postoperative necrosis of the transposed colon. This study evaluated the outcomes of colon interposition with the routine use of superdrainage by microvascular surgery. Twenty-one patients underwent colon interposition from 2004 to 2009. The strategy for colon interposition was to: (i) use the right hemicolon; (ii) reconstruct via the subcutaneous route; (iii) perform a microvascular venous anastomosis for all patients; and (iv) perform a microvascular arterial anastomosis when the arterial blood flow was insufficient. The clinicopathologic features, surgical findings, and outcomes were investigated. The colon was used because of a previous gastrectomy in 18 patients (85.7%) and synchronous gastric cancer in three patients (14.3%). Eight patients (38.1%) underwent preoperative chemoradiotherapy including three (14.3%) treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy. Seven patients (33.3%) underwent microvascular arterial anastomosis to supplement the right colon blood supply. Pneumonia occurred in four patients (19.0%). Anastomotic leakage was observed in five patients (23.8%); however, no colon necrosis was observed. The 3-year and 5-year overall survival rates were both 50.6%. Colon interposition with superdrainage results in successful treatment outcomes. This technique is one option for colon interposition employing the right hemicolon.