Esophageal reconstruction for benign disease: Self-assessment of functional outcome and quality of life

Mary M. Young, Claude Deschamps, Mark S. Allen, Daniel L. Miller, Victor F. Trastek, Cathy D. Schleck, Peter C. Pairolero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background. Little information exists regarding functional outcome and quality of life after esophagectomy and subsequent esophageal reconstruction for benign disease as evaluated by the patients themselves. Methods. Eighty-one patients completed a combined two-part questionnaire regarding esophageal function and quality of life (MOS SF-36) a median of 9.8 years (range, 10 months to 18.9 years) after esophageal reconstruction for benign disease. There were 43 men (53.1%) and 38 women (46.9%). Median age at time of esophageal reconstruction was 51 years (range, 6 to 78 years). Intestinal continuity was established with stomach in 58 patients (71.6%), colon in 16 patients (19.8%), and small bowel in 7 patients (8.6%). Results. Dysphagia to solids was present in 48 patients (59.3%) and 27 patients (33.3%) required at least one postoperative dilatation. Heartburn was present in 50 patients (61.7%) which required medication for control in 37 patients (45.7%). The number of meals per day was three to four in 58 patients (71.6%), more than four in 15 patients (18.5%), less than three in 6 patients (7.4%), and unknown in 2 patients (2.5%). The size of each meal was smaller than preoperatively in 46 patients (56.8%), larger in 22 patients (27.2%), unchanged in 12 patients (14.8%), and unknown in 1 patient (1.2%). The number of bowel movements per day increased in 37 patients (45.7%), was unchanged in 36 patients (44.4%), and decreased in 8 patients (9.9%). Resection for perforation was associated with smaller postoperative meals compared with resection for stricture (p < 0.05). Age, sex, and type of esophageal reconstruction did not affect late functional outcome. Regarding quality of life, physical functioning, social functioning, and health perception were decreased (p < 0.05). No significant change was observed in role-physical, mental health, bodily pain, energy/fatigue, and role-emotional scores. Conclusions. Self-assessment of postoperative esophageal symptoms after esophagectomy and reconstruction for benign disease demonstrates that symptoms are frequently present at long-term follow-up and unaffected by the type of reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1799-1802
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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