Oesophagectomy is a safe option for early adenocarcinoma arising from Barrett's oesophagus

Yick Ho Lam, Tim Bright, Matthew Loeong, Sarah K Thompson, George Mayne, David I Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Over the last decade, there has been a shift towards endoscopic treatment of high-grade dysplasia (HGD) and T1 stage adenocarcinoma arising in Barrett's oesophagus. Although short-term outcomes are promising, longer-term outcomes remain uncertain and the role of these therapies versus surgery is debated, with surgical mortality rates assumed. However, few studies have specifically determined the outcome for oesophagectomy in the subgroup with HGD or T1 adenocarcinoma. To determine this, we evaluated experience with oesophagectomy for HGD and T1 adenocarcinoma in Barrett's oesophagus. Methods: Data were analysed from a prospective audit database for oesophagectomy performed at two public and four associated private hospitals in Adelaide, South Australia. Patients with HGD, T1a and T1b adenocarcinoma who underwent oesophagectomy from 20 February 1998 to 17 February 2012 were identified, and their perioperative, post-operative and survival outcomes were determined. Results: From 452 oesophagectomy procedures, 63 (13.9%) individuals who underwent surgery for HGD or T1 adenocarcinoma were identified; HGD – 19 (30.1%), T1a – 18 (28.5 %), T1b – 26 (41.3%). Major complications occurred in eight (12.7%) patients including one (1.6%) death following surgery. Five-year survival for HGD and T1a cancers using Kaplan–Meier analysis was not significantly different from a matched general population without cancer. Conclusion: Oesophagectomy for HGD and T1 stage adenocarcinoma in Barrett's oesophagus is associated with favourable outcomes. Outcomes following endoscopic treatments should be benchmarked against these outcomes, not those following oesophagectomy for advanced cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-909
Number of pages5
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Barrett's oesophagus
  • oesophagectomy


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