BACKGROUND: Minimally invasive surgery has assumed an ever-expanding role in gastrointestinal surgery since the introduction of laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This review describes some of the more common minimally invasive procedures of the esophagus and stomach, with particular attention to technique. DATA SOURCES: A literature review of minimally invasive surgery of the esophagus and stomach was conducted. CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic (and thoracoscopic) approaches for gastroesophageal reflux disease appear to have excellent operative and short-term follow-up results. Long-term follow-up data, however, remain unobtainable for several more years. Limited reports of esophageal cardiomyotomy, paraesophageal hernia repair, and gastric surgery for peptic ulcer disease performed through a minimally invasive approach are encouraging. Experience with resection of esophageal and gastric neoplasia is limited to a few specialized centers. Results should be scrutinized and compared with open operation before proclaiming the benefits of a minimally invasive approach.
ASJC Scopus subject areas