Anastomotic complications after esophagectomy: Influence of omentoplasty in propensity-weighted cohorts

Author Department

Healthcare Quality

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date




A recent meta-analysis of 3 randomized controlled trials reported reduced incidence and severity of postesophagectomy anastomotic dehiscence with anastomotic omentoplasty. Unfortunately, these trials excluded neoadjuvant patients who received chemoradiation. We aimed to determine whether anastomotic omentoplasty was associated with differential postesophagectomy anastomotic complications after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy.


Data for patients who underwent minimally invasive esophagectomy following neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy were abstracted (n = 245; 2001-2016; omentoplasty = 147 [60%]). Propensity for omentoplasty was estimated on 21 pretreatment variables, using augmented inverse probability of treatment weights, and used to determine the adjusted proportion of adverse anastomotic outcomes, major morbidity, and 30-day/in-hospital mortality.


Overall, anastomotic leak rate was 15%; leak-associated mortality was 13% (n = 5 out of 37). Leak rates (omentoplasty n = 24 [16%] vs no omentoplasty n = 13 [13%]; P = .512) and incidence of any major complications (48% vs 48%; P = .958) were similar. Leaks requiring surgical intervention occurred in 12 patients (5% vs 5%; P = .904). Propensity weighting achieved excellent balance across all 21 pretreatment variables (before weighting, standardized differences ranged from -0.23 to 0.35; postweighting standardized differences ranged from -0.09 to 0.07). In propensity-weighted data, omentoplasty was not associated with differential adjusted risk of anastomotic leak (13.2% vs 14.3%; P = .83), major morbidity (27.9% vs 32.6%; P = .44), or mortality (6.7% vs 4.8%; P = .61).


Within the limits of our sample size and statistical approach, our study failed to find evidence that anastomotic omentoplasty during esophagectomy after neoadjuvant chemoradiation reduced anastomotic leak rate or need for leak-related reoperation.