Two-Year Quality of Life Outcomes After Robotic-Assisted Minimally Invasive and Open Esophagectomy

Marc Vimolratana, Inderpal S. Sarkaria, Debra A. Goldman, Nabil P. Rizk, Kay See Tan, Manjit S. Bains, Prasad S. Adusumilli, Smita Sihag, James M. Isbell, James Huang, Bernard J. Park, Daniela Molena, Valerie W. Rusch, David R. Jones, Matthew J. Bott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Robotic-assisted minimally invasive esophagectomy (RAMIE) is a safe alternative to open esophagectomy (OE). However, differences in quality of life (QOL) after these procedures remain unclear. We previously reported short-term QOL outcomes after RAMIE and OE and describe here our results from 2 years of follow-up. Methods: We conducted a prospective, nonrandomized trial of patients with esophageal cancer undergoing transthoracic resection by RAMIE or OE at a single institution. The primary outcomes were patient-reported QOL, measured by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Esophageal (FACT-E), and pain, measured by the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI). Generalized linear models were used to assess the relationship between QOL outcomes and surgery cohort. P values were adjusted (P-adj) within each model using the false discovery rate correction. Results: Esophagectomy was performed in 170 patients (106 OE and 64 RAMIE). The groups did not differ significantly by any measured clinicopathologic variables. After covariates were controlled for, FACT-E scores were higher in the RAMIE cohort than in the OE cohort (parameter estimate [PE], 6.13; P-adj = .051). RAMIE was associated with higher esophageal cancer subscale (PE, 2.72; P-adj = .022) and emotional well-being (PE, 1.25; P-adj = .016) scores. BPI pain severity scores were lower in the RAMIE cohort than in the OE cohort (PE, −0.56; P-adj = .005), but pain interference scores did not differ significantly between groups (P-adj = .11). Conclusions: During 2 years of follow-up, RAMIE was associated with improved patient-reported QOL, including esophageal symptoms, emotional well-being, and decreased pain, compared with OE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)880-889
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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