Changes in quality of life after esophageal resections for carcinoma

Medicina (Kaunas). 2006;42(3):187-94.


Objective: To evaluate the changes of the quality of life after the surgery for esophageal carcinoma and to find out whether these changes are influenced by the extent of the resection and lymphadenectomy.

Patients and methods: A total of 49 patients in whom esophageal carcinoma had been resected with curative intent and who stayed disease-free for at least twelve months after the surgery were studied. Twenty-four patients (48.9%) underwent two-field lymphadenectomy and intrathoracic esophagogastric anastomosis (group T), while in another twenty-five patients three-field lymphadenectomy and cervical esophagogastric anastomosis were performed (group C). To determine the impact of surgery quality of life was assessed in each patient just before the surgery, on the day of the discharge and at three-month intervals until the end of the first postoperative year. The quality of life was measured by means of European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Version 3.0.

Results: Compared with the preoperative assessment quality of life had decreased at discharge but was restored within 3-12 months. The emotional functioning had increased just after the surgery. Significant differences between groups C and T were found in global health, physical, and role functioning scales.

Conclusions: Majority of the aspects of quality of life deteriorated after the radical surgery for esophageal carcinoma and regained the preoperative level before the end of the first postoperative year. Major surgical procedure (three-field lymphadenectomy and cervical esophagogastric anastomosis) gives some disadvantages in physical, social and role functioning during the first six postoperative months.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery*
  • Aged
  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Esophagus / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Period
  • Quality of Life* / psychology
  • Stomach / surgery
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors