Background: Total pharyngolaryngoesophagectomy (TPLE) is associated with major complications and is extremely invasive. In 2011, our institution introduced thoracoscopic esophagectomy in the left hemi-prone position and laparoscopic reconstruction with a gastric tube in patients undergoing TPLE. Herein, we describe the use of this operative method in 26 patients, focusing on the technical aspects of the surgery. Materials and methods: From January 2011 to December 2018, 26 patients underwent minimally invasive TPLE with gastric tube reconstruction in our institute. The thoracoscopic procedure was performed with the patient in the semi-prone position. The patient was then moved to the supine position, and the laparoscopic procedure and pharyngolaryngectomy were started simultaneously. After pharyngolaryngectomy, microvascular anastomoses or free jejunal flap interposition were performed at the site of the gastric tube reconstruction. The data from these 26 patients were retrospectively analyzed. Results: The median age was 66 years, and 3.8% of the patients were female. The Union for International Cancer Control stages of esophageal cancer were 0 (n = 2), I (n = 4), II (n = 7), III (n = 8), and IV (n = 5). Eight patients had concomitant esophageal cancer and head and neck cancer. Reconstruction with only a narrow gastric tube was used in 16 patients, while free jejunal flap interposition was used in 10 patients. The surgical procedures resulted in minimal complications. Postoperative complications of Clavien-Dindo grade ≥1 included anastomotic leakage in two patients and pneumonia in one. Conclusion: Thoracoscopic esophagectomy in the left hemi-prone position and laparoscopic reconstruction with a gastric tube in patients undergoing TPLE was safe and effective. The complications were improved via the development of various procedures. Further improvement is necessary before this thoracoscopic approach is established as a standard procedure for TPLE.
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