01.09.2014 | Ausgabe 9/2014
Long-Term Quality of Life after Ivor Lewis Esophagectomy for Esophageal Cancer
World Journal of Surgery
- Silvio Däster, Savas D. Soysal, Lea Stoll, Ralph Peterli, Markus von Flüe, Christoph Ackermann
Esophagectomy has a potentially high impact on physical, emotional, and social functions. The aim of this study was to assess long-term health-related quality of life (QOL) after esophageal cancer surgery.
We analyzed all patients who underwent an Ivor Lewis esophagectomy for resectable esophageal cancer in our hospital from 1999 to 2010. QOL was assessed using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer general questionnaire QLQ-C30 and esophagus-specific questionnaire QLQ-OES18.
A total of 150 patients were operated in the surveyed 12-year period. At the time of analysis, 46 patients (31 %) were eligible for assessment, 97 patients (65 %) had died or experienced tumor recurrence, and seven patients (5 %) were lost to follow-up. Of the 46 eligible patients, 43 (94 %) returned the questionnaires. The median observation interval between the operation and QOL assessment was 40 (range 21–135) months. The QLQ-C30 mean score of global health status and general QOL was similar to that of a healthy reference population. Most of the QLQ-C30 mean scores of functional and symptom scales and QLQ-OES18 symptom scales showed a worse result than for a healthy reference population. The highest mean scores were reflux and eating problems.
In the long term, Ivor Lewis esophagectomy provides a generally good QOL for patients with esophageal cancer, which is comparable to a healthy reference population. However, some patients suffer from significant symptoms. Reflux and eating problems were the most relevant complaints. Dietary counseling is therefore important in the postoperative course.