Kantonsspital St.Gallen

Functional syndromes and symptom-orientated aftercare after esophagectomy

Kristjan Ukegjini, Diana Vetter, Rebecca Fehr, Valerian Dirr, Christoph Gubler & Christian A Gutschow


Surgery is the cornerstone of esophageal cancer treatment but remains burdened with significant postoperative changes of gastrointestinal function and quality of life.

The aim of this narrative review is to assess and summarize the current knowledge on postoperative functional syndromes and quality of life after esophagectomy for cancer, and to provide orientation for the reader in the challenging field of functional aftercare.

Post-esophagectomy syndromes include various conditions such as dysphagia, reflux, delayed gastric emptying, dumping syndrome, weight loss, and chronic diarrhea. Clinical pictures and individual expressions are highly variable and may be extremely distressing for those affected. Therefore, in addition to a mostly well-coordinated oncological follow-up, we strongly emphasize the need for regular monitoring of physical well-being and gastrointestinal function. The prerequisite for an effective functional aftercare covering the whole spectrum of postoperative syndromes is a comprehensive knowledge of the pathophysiological background. As functional conditions often require a complex diagnostic workup and long-term therapy, close interdisciplinary cooperation with radiologists, gastroenterologists, oncologists, and specialized nutritional counseling is imperative for successful management.
citation Ukegjini K, Vetter D, Fehr R, Dirr V, Gubler C, Gutschow C A. Functional syndromes and symptom-orientated aftercare after esophagectomy. Langenbecks Arch Surg 2021;.
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 25-05-2021
journal title Langenbecks Arch Surg
ISSN electronic 1435-2451
PubMed 34036407
DOI 10.1007/s00423-021-02203-y