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Quality of life after esophageal resection

Authors Svetanoff WJ, McGahan R, Singhal S, Bertellotti C, Mittal SK

Received 28 August 2017

Accepted for publication 3 January 2018

Published 4 April 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 137—146


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Liana Bruce (formerly Castel)

Wendy Jo Svetanoff,1,2 Rose McGahan,2 Saurabh Singhal,3 Carrie Bertellotti,2 Sumeet K Mittal2,3

1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; 2Department of Surgery, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE, USA; 3Norton Thoracic Institute, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, USA

Introduction: Esophageal resection is the primary treatment for malignant esophageal disease and the last resort for benign end-stage esophageal disease. There is a paucity of research comparing the long-term quality of life (QoL) following surgery among these two populations. The aim of this study was to examine the patient reported QoL after esophageal resection using questionnaires focusing on general well-being and esophageal-specific symptoms.
Methods: A prospectively maintained database of post-operatively administered European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) with supplemental esophageal cancer-specific questionnaires (OES-18) was queried after institutional review board approval through Creighton University School of Medicine. Inclusions were made if patients received an esophageal resection for benign or malignant esophageal disease. Emergency procedures, delayed reconstructions, and stage IV disease were excluded. Student’s t-test was used for domains of function, symptoms, QoL, and esophageal-specific complaints to compare the groups with each other and with the general population.
Results: A total of 39 out of 248 patients with malignant disease and 24 out of 46 with benign disease completed the questionnaire. A mean post-operative follow-up of 53 months with a response rate of 40% was obtained. There was no difference in physical (p=0.81), role (p =0.37), conditional (p=0.73), emotional (p=0.06), or social functions (p=0.42) between the general population and the esophageal resection groups. There was also no significant difference in generalized pain (p=0.86), nausea/vomiting (p=0.27), fatigue (p=0.86), swallowing (p=0.35), or esophageal pain (p=0.12). The malignant cohort had better outcomes than the benign cohort with respect to eating (p=0.04), indigestion (p=0.04), and QoL (p=<0.01).
Discussion: The underlying disease between these cohorts is drastically different, but post-operative functional status, generalized symptoms, swallowing ability, and esophageal pain were similar. There was no difference in functional status between the general population and the esophageal resection cohorts. Patients with malignant disease reported less problems with eating and a better QoL than their benign counterparts.

Keywords: quality of life, esophageal resection, esophageal cancer, esophagectomy, end-stage esophageal disease

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