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Excellent Long-Term Outcomes Seen Following Esophagectomy

WEDNESDAY, April 2, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients undergoing esophagectomy with gastric pull-up report excellent long-term nutritional status, quality of life, and satisfaction with eating, according to research published in the March issue of The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

Christina L. Greene, M.D., from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues interviewed 40 patients (median age, 75 years; median follow-up, 12 years) who had undergone esophagectomy with gastric pull-up before 2003 regarding their alimentary function.

The researchers found that 88 percent of the patients had no dysphagia; 90 percent were able to eat three or more meals/day; and 93 percent finished half or more of a typical meal. Patients had a mean alimentary comfort rating of 9 out of 10. One-third of patients had dumping, diarrhea at least three times/day, or regurgitation. Aspiration episodes requiring hospitalization occurred in six patients (15 percent). Post-surgery, the median weight loss was 26 lbs, and the current median body mass index was 25 kg/m², with only two patients underweight. Within the cohort, the median Gastrointestinal Quality of Life score was 2.9 out of 4, while RAND scores were at the population mean for the physical function category and above the normal mean in the other seven categories.

"Pessimism regarding the long-term ability to enjoy a meal and live with a good quality of life after esophagectomy is unwarranted," the authors write.

One author reports financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical industries.

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