THORACIC – Original Submission|Articles in Press

Cessation of Routine Jejunostomy Tube Placement at Time of Minimally Invasive Ivor Lewis Esophagectomy and Impact on Body Mass Index

Published:October 11, 2022DOI:
      Jejunostomy tubes are frequently placed at time of esophagectomy. The purpose of this study is to evaluate cessation of routine j-tube placement on postoperative body mass index (BMI), return to the emergency room, and time until adjuvant therapy. We performed a retrospective review of an institutional database for consecutive patients undergoing minimally invasive Ivor Lewis Esophagectomy from 2014-2021 (after January 2019, routine j-tube placement was abandoned). Data was analyzed using Pearson′s Chi-squared tests and Student's t test with 2-sided significance level of P < 0.05. In total,179 patients were included, 95 underwent j-tube placement and 84 did not. Cohorts had comparable baseline BMI's (no j-tube: 30.48 vs j-tube: 28.64, P = 0.06) and anastomotic leak rates (2.4% vs 4.2%, P = 0.5). Patients with no jejunostomy tubes were more likely to receive total parenteral nutrition (14.3% vs 5.3%, P < 0.05), but were no more likely to require total parenteral nutrition at discharge and had comparable durations of TPN requirement (7 days vs 12 days, P = 0.53). There was no difference in mean BMI reduction at 2 weeks (2.54 vs 2.09, P = 0.49) and 3-6 months postoperatively (6.11 vs 4.45 P = 0.15). There was no difference in return to the emergency room (8.3% vs 8.4%, P = 0.98) or readmissions (13.1% vs 11.6%, P = 0.76). There was a no difference in mean time to adjuvant therapy (83.5 days vs 72.6 days, P = 0.67). At esophagectomy centers with low anastomotic leak rates, cessation of routine j-tube placement at time of minimally esophagectomy can be undertaken without increasing risk of readmission, time until initiation of adjuvant therapy, or significantly impacting postoperative BMI loss.

      Graphical Abstract



      J-tube (jejunostomy tube), BMI (body mass index), ER (emergency room), ECCG (esophageal complication consensus group), EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy), NGT (nasogastric tube), ERAS (enhanced recovery after surgery), POD (postoperative day), NPO (nil per os (nothing by mouth)), TPN (total parenteral nutrition)
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