Colonic interposition is an alternative for gastric conduit reconstruction after esophagectomy. Anastomotic leakage (AL) occurs in 15-25% of patients and may be attributed to reduced blood supply after vascular ligation. Indocyanine green fluorescence angiography (ICG-FA) can visualize tissue perfusion. We aimed to give an overview of the first experiences of ICG-FA and AL rate in colonic interposition.
This study included all consecutive patients who underwent a colonic interposition between January 2015 and December 2021 at a tertiary referral center. Surgery was performed for the following indications: inability to use the stomach because of previous surgery or extensive tumour involvement, cancer recurrence in the gastric conduit, or because of complications after initial esophagectomy. Since 2018 ICG-FA was performed before anastomotic reconstruction by administration of ICG injection (0.1 mg/kg/bolus), using the Spy-phi (Stryker, Kalamazoo, MI).
Twenty-eight patients (9 female, mean age 62.8), underwent colonic interposition of whom 15 (54%) underwent ICG-FA-guided surgery. Within the ICG-FA group, three (20%) AL occurred, whereas in the non-ICG-FA group, three AL and one graft necrosis (31%) occurred (P=0.67). There was a change of management due to the FA assessment in three patients in the FA group (20%) which led to the choice of a different bowel segment for the anastomosis. Mean operative times in the ICG-FA and non-ICG-FA groups were 372±99 and 399±113 minutes, respectively (P=0.85). ICG-FA is a safe, easy and feasible technique to assess perfusion of colonic interpositions. ICG-FA is of added value leading to a change in management in a considerable percentage of patients. Its role in prevention of AL remains to be elucidated.