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01.12.2012 | Technical innovations | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

World Journal of Surgical Oncology 1/2012

A method of gastric conduit elevation via the posterior mediastinal pathway in thoracoscopic subtotal esophagectomy

World Journal of Surgical Oncology > Ausgabe 1/2012
Noriyuki Hirahara, Tetsu Yamamoto, Tsuneo Tanaka
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1477-7819-10-20) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

NH was the lead author and surgeon for all of the patients. TY contributed patients and information on the patients. TT reviewed paper and technique of surgery. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Despite efforts to improve surgical techniques, serious complications still sometimes occur. Use of a physiological posterior mediastinal pathway has increased given advances such as automated anastomotic devices and a reduction in the incidence of anastomotic sufficiency. Until now the gastric conduit created has been protected by an echo probe cover and, sown to the ventral side of polyester tape placed through the abdomen to the neck, and then blindly elevated to the neck. We report on a new method of gastric conduit elevation.


Two 60-cm lengths polyester tape are ligated at both ends to form a loop. An echo probe cover of 10 cm in diameter and 50 cm in length is prepared and the tip cut off, forming a cylinder. The knots in the previously looped polyester tape are inserted into the echo probe cover. The looped polyester tape and echo probe cover is ligated with silk approximately 5 cm in front of the knots on both sides.
After dissection is carried out according to practice, the previously crafted polyester tape is inserted into the chest cavity. One end of polyester tape is fixed to the distal esophageal stump with the clips, with the opposite end fixed to the proximal esophageal stump. The echo probe cover that connects the proximal esophagus and distal esophagus is monitored for the presence of creases along the long axis to ensure there are no twists in the echo probe cover.
We carry out a laparoscopic-assisted perigastric lymph node dissection, make a small skin incision, and guide part of the thoracic esophagus and stomach outside the body.
Either one of the two lengths of polyester tape is connected to the gastric conduit. By pulling up this length of polyester tape from the neck, the gastric conduit can pass through the echo probe cover and be elevated to the neck.


No perioperative complications such as bleeding or difficulty of the gastric conduit elevation were recognized with this method.


This method is considered to serve as a useful technique for gastric conduit elevation.
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