Purpose: Long-lasting symptoms and reductions in quality of life are common after oesophago-gastric surgery. Post-operative follow-up has traditionally focussed on tumour recurrence and survival, but there is a growing need to also identify and treat functional sequelae to improve patients’ recovery. Methods: An electronic survey was circulated via a British national charity for patients undergoing oesophago-gastric surgery and their families. Patients were asked about post-operative symptoms they deemed important to their quality of life, as well as satisfaction and preferences for post-operative follow-up. Differences between satisfied and dissatisfied patients with reference to follow-up were assessed. Results: Among 362 respondents with a median follow-up of 58 months since surgery (range 3–412), 36 different symptoms were reported as being important to recovery and quality of life after surgery, with a median of 13 symptoms per patient. Most (84%) respondents indicated satisfaction with follow-up. Satisfied patients were more likely to have received longer follow-up (5-year or longer follow-up 60% among satisfied patients vs 27% among unsatisfied, p < 0.001). These were also less likely to have seen a dietitian as part of routine follow-up (37% vs 58%, p = 0.005). Conclusion: This patient survey highlights preferences regarding follow-up after oesophago-gastrectomy. Longer follow-up and dietician involvement improved patient satisfaction. Patients reported being concerned by a large number of gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal symptoms, highlighting the need for multidisciplinary input and a consensus on how to manage the poly-symptomatic patient.
- Esophageal neoplasms
- Gastric neoplasms