Indexed on: 11 Sep '19Published on: 10 Sep '19Published in: The Permanente journal
Feeding jejunostomy (FJ) tubes are routinely placed during esophagectomy. However, their effect on immediate postoperative outcomes in this patient population is not clear. To evaluate the effect of FJ tube placement during esophagectomy on postoperative morbidity and mortality. The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database was used to evaluate the effect of FJ tube placement during esophagectomy on 30-day postoperative morbidity and mortality rates. A propensity score-matched cohort was used to compare postoperative outcomes of patients with and without FJ tubes. An FJ tube was placed in 45% of 2059 patients undergoing esophagectomy. The anastomotic leak rate was 13.5%. Patients with FJ tubes were more likely to have preoperative radiation therapy (59.6% vs 54.9%, p = 0.041), transhiatal esophagectomy (21.5% vs 19.2%, p = 0.012), a malignant diagnosis (93.2% vs 90.4%), and longer operative time (393 min vs 348 min, p < 0.001). In a case-matched cohort, mortality (2% vs 2.4%, p = 0.618) and severe morbidity (38.2% vs 34.6%, p = 0.128) were comparable between patients with and without FJ tubes. FJ tube placement was associated with higher overall morbidity (46% vs 38.6%, p = 0.002), superficial wound infection (6.3% vs 2.9%, p = 0.001), and return to the operating room (16.7% vs 12.5%, p = 0.016). In a subgroup of patients with anastomotic leak, FJ was associated with shorter hospital stay (20.1 days vs 24.3 days, p = 0.046). These mixed findings support selective rather than routine FJ tube placement during esophagectomy.