Seminars in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery vol:15 issue:1 pages:35-43
With the emergence of minimally invasive surgery (MIS), laparoscopy and thoracoscopy have become feasible and safe alternatives to open surgical procedures in the management of esophageal leiomyomas. The indications for MIS resection of leiomyomas at our institution include the presence of symptoms, confirmation of pathology to exclude malignancy, tumors greater than 2 cm in size or tumors that show evidence of growth. Our approach of choice is right video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) for tumors of the thoracic esophagus and laparoscopy for tumors of the intra-abdominal esophagus or gastroesophageal junction. A detailed description of these surgical approaches is outlined in the following chapter. At our institution, nine patients, 8 males and 2 females with a mean age of 54 years (range 42-67 years) had a minimally invasive surgical resection of an esophageal leiomyoma between 1995 and 2001. The surgical approaches included right VATS enucleation (6) and laparoscopic enucleation (3). There were no major morbidities, including postoperative leaks or mortalities. The mean hospital stay was 2.3 days. All tumors were benign leiomyomas with average size of 2.73 cm (range 0.9-8 cm) and there was no evidence of recurrence at a mean follow-up of 10 months. Video-assisted enucleation has shown in our institution, as well as in others, that the procedure can be performed safely with low mortality and morbidity. A VATS or laparoscopic approach to the removal of leiomyomas should be the treatment of choice in centers experienced in minimally invasive surgery.