Long-term survival outcomes associated with robotic-assisted minimally invasive esophagectomy (RAMIE) for esophageal cancer

Innocent Byiringiro, Sarah J. Aurit, Kalyana C. Nandipati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Minimally Invasive esophagectomy for esophageal cancer is associated with less morbidity compared to open approach. Whether robotic-assisted minimally invasive esophagectomy (RAMIE) results in better long-term survival compared with open esophagectomy (OE) and minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) is unclear. Methods: We analyzed data from the National Cancer Database (NCDB) for patients with primary esophageal cancers who underwent esophagectomy in 2010–2017. Those with unknown staging, distant metastasis, or diagnosed with another cancer were excluded. Patients were stratified by RAMIE, MIE, and OE operative techniques. The Kaplan–Meier method and associated log-rank test were employed to compare unadjusted survival outcomes by surgical technique, our primary outcome. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression model was employed to discern factors independently contributing to survival. Results: A total of 5170 patients who underwent esophagectomy were included in the analysis; 428 underwent RAMIE, 1417 underwent MIE, and 3325 underwent OE. Overall median survival was 42 months. In comparison to RAMIE, there was an increased risk of death for those that underwent either MIE [Hazard Ratio (HR) = 1.19; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): > 1.00 to 1.41; P < 0.047)] or OE (HR = 1.22; 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.43; P < 0.017). Academic vs community program facility type was associated with decreased risk of death (HR = 0.84; 95% CI: 0.76 to 0.93; P < 0.001). In general, males from areas of lower income with advanced stages of cancer who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy or radiation were at increased risk of death. Factors that were not associated with survival included race and ethnicity, Charlson-Devo Score, type of health insurance, zipcode level education, and population density. Conclusions: Overall survival was significantly longer in patients with esophageal cancers that underwent RAMIE in comparison to either MIE or OE in a 7-year NCDB cohort study. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSurgical endoscopy
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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