King's College London

Research portal

The impact of volume on outcomes after oesophageal cancer surgery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ioannis Rouvelas, Jesper Lagergren

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634 - 641
Number of pages8
Issue number9
PublishedSep 2010

King's Authors


Oesophageal cancer is an aggressive disease with a poor prognosis. Oesophagectomy is an established, potentially curative treatment, for patients with resectable oesophageal cancer. The anatomical location of the oesophagus explains why this type of operation is one of the most demanding and traumatic surgical procedures undertaken in general surgery. Unfortunately, the risk for severe post-operative complications is high and the chance for cure remains low. It is, however, encouraging that the postoperative morbidity has been decreasing and the survival has been improving during recent years. Several factors might have contributed to this improvement, including the centralization of oesophageal cancer surgery to high volume centres. This review focuses on the impact of hospital and surgeon volume on various outcomes after oesophagectomy for oesophageal cancer. Most available research indicates that, as far as post-operative complications, early post-operative mortality and health economics after oesophagectomy are concerned, high surgery volume is to be recommended, while the few studies evaluating long-term survival and health-related quality of life adjusted for tumour stage found no evidence of a role for volume. In conclusion, the available literature supports the centralization of oesophagectomy for cancer to dedicated centres with a multidisciplinary approach and a good track record of valid clinical research.

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454