Minimally invasive oesophagectomy

Minimally invasive oesophagectomy

Although not a cancer patient, I know a few who have had the Ivor Lewis oesophagectomy and am familiar with the shark bite scar.

However, yesterday I was really surprised at how small and neat the wounds are from minimally invasive techniques now available.

I was participating as a patient at a mock exam for students who will be taking FCRS exams soon. One of my fellow patient volunteers was just 2 weeks post MIO performed by one of our upper GI surgeons at Southampton, Jim Byrne, and he looked great. From the front, the students' observations were that he'd had a fundoplication. They needed to see the small plaster on the puncture wound over his shoulder blade to realise it had actually been an oesophagectomy.

(One of Jim Byrne's colleagues, Jamie Kelly, a pioneer of the MIO at Southampton, will be talking about this at Barrett's Wessex AGM on 25th June.)

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8 Replies

  • What they do on the inside does not change, but the exterior scars are totally different!

    I think the morale for the patients is a big improvement and they seem to be up and around a lot quicker. But the surgery can take longer and they are still on a learning/development curve with it.

    Very impressive though!

  • I caught a news story recently that a Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells hospital had ceased doing the Ivor Lewis this way as there have been too many deaths. The story caught my attentions as I had the Ivor Lewis the 'old fashioned' way and I also happen to have been brought up in Tunbridge Wells. Haven't heard any more but presumably there will be investigations.

  • Hi, I read about the minimally invasive surgery and was very keen, however after extensive discussion with my surgeon, Prof Wyn Lewis, he convinced me to gave the Ivor Lewis. I am very grateful as the surgery was completed in two and a half hours by using two teams of surgeons, and I was fortunate to not suffer any complications after. The recovery might be a bit longer but there does seem to be a bigger risk of complications with the MI route, especially joint leakage. I think more practice and experience us needed before MI beckoned mainstream.

  • I believe the MIO is Ivor Lewis. It is being pioneered by the Southampton surgeons. So far no research is available to compare success rates.

    Jamie Kelly will be talking about it at Barrett's Wessex AGM at Southampton Hospital on 25 June 6:00pm - 8:00pm. Everyone's welcome.

  • Hi chrisrob

    Would you please post more details regarding the June meeting as I will certainly attend.

    My Ivor Lewis was 23 years ago so MIO was not an option but I doubt if I would elect for anything other than conventional open surgery for such an intensive, tricky procedure, even today.

  • Details of the Barrett's Wessex 2014 Annual Meeting are now available here:

    or by following the link on the ACTIVITIES page of

  • chrisrob

    Many thanks -- I have signed up

  • Jamie Kelly performed the MIO miracle on my husband over two years ago. It was a long one, but husband had a pretty much copy-book recovery without complications and remains well, looking forward to his 79th birthday next month.

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