Peculiarities of intra-thoracic colon interposition—eso-coloplasty: indications, surgical management and outcomes
Stomach is the usual organ of choice for oesophageal replacement. Gastric pull-up is a standardized, fast and secure procedure, requiring only one anastomosis and usually performed with mini-invasive techniques. Colon is used when the stomach is not available, for tumours of the upper oesophagus or the hypopharynx, for benign or paediatric diseases. It is a complex surgery requiring a specific pre-operative management, three or four anastomoses, and a careful choice of the route of reconstruction. Early post-operative complications, such as anastomotic leakage, are frequent. Long-term outcomes are marked by strictures of the anastomosis and redundancy, but the reported quality of life of the patients is good. Eso-coloplasty remains a safe and feasible alternative to gastric pull-up for oesophageal replacement, for specific indications.