Esophagectomy from then to now
We have come a long way from the onset of surgery for esophageal cancer. Surgical resection is pivotal for the long-term survival in patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer. Moreover, advancements in post-operative care and surgical techniques have contributed to reductions in morbidity. More recently minimally invasive esophagectomy has been increasingly used in patients undergoing esophageal cancer resection. Potential advantages of MIE include: the decreased pulmonary complications, lower post-operative wound infection, decreased post-operative pain, and decreased length of hospitalization. The application of robotics to esophageal surgery is becoming more widespread. Robotic esophageal surgery has potential advantages over the known limitations of laparoscopic and thoracoscopic approaches to esophagectomy while adhering to the benefits of the minimally invasive approach. This paper is a review of the evolution from open esophagectomy to the most recent robotic approach.