Laparoscopic transgastric esophageal mucosal resection for high-grade dysplasia

J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2004 Oct;14(5):261-5. doi: 10.1089/lap.2004.14.261.


Background: High-grade dysplasia of the esophageal mucosa has been shown to be a precursor to adenocarcinoma. In addition to esophagectomy, multiple ablative endoscopic techniques have evolved for the management of this condition. As a surgical alternative to esophagectomy, we describe for the first time a new option in the treatment of high-grade dysplasia.

Materials and methods: Two patients with a history of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy which demonstrated high-grade dysplasia of the distal esophagus. The first patient had a short segment (0.5-1.0 cm), and the second patient had a longer (2 cm) segment of dysplasia. The patient is placed in the modified lithotomy position. Five trocars are placed as if to perform a fundoplication. A complete circumferential mobilization of the esophagus is performed. The short gastric vessels are divided with the harmonic scalpel, to free up the fundus of the stomach. An anterior horizontal gastrotomy is performed three to four centimeters below the gastroesophageal junction. A solution of epinephrine and normal saline (1:100,000) is injected into the mucosa at the Z-line and, utilizing specially designed hook electrocautery, the mucosa is incised circumferentially around a lighted bougie. Using blunt dissection the mucosa is undermined, elevated, and excised in four quadrants. Three centimeters of the distal esophageal mucosa are resected. The gastrotomy is then closed using a linear stapler, and a 360 degrees fundoplication is performed around a 50 Fr bougie.

Results: High-grade dysplasia was identified in the specimens from both patients; however, neither patient was found to have carcinoma in situ or invasive esophageal cancer. Our first patient has been followed for twenty months, the second for ten months. Both patients underwent routine upper gastrointestinal endoscopy for surveillance of the healing process. At eight months, the mucosa of the first patient showed complete regeneration of squamous epithelium. Our most recent patient appears to be progressing without complications and has also demonstrated normal squamous epithelium at ten months postoperatively, without changes of Barrett's epithelium.

Conclusion: The technique of laparoscopic transgastric esophageal mucosal resection is feasible and may be proven to be an alternative to esophagectomy for the management of high-grade dysplasia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Barrett Esophagus / etiology
  • Barrett Esophagus / pathology
  • Barrett Esophagus / surgery*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Esophagectomy / methods*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / pathology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / surgery
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucous Membrane / pathology
  • Mucous Membrane / surgery
  • Precancerous Conditions / etiology
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology
  • Precancerous Conditions / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome