Akiyama Procedure as a Surgical Option for Esophageal Cancer

Kolani Henri, Xhelili Eljona, Vila Frenki, Kraja Fatjona, Prendi Urana, Haxhiu Asfloral, Masati Bledi, Çili Manser, Osmënaj Renato, Kananaj Ervin, Thomanasto Aleksandër, Qosja Entela, Sula Arentin



The purpose of this study is to introduce our experience with the Akiyama procedure as a surgical option for treatment of esophageal cancer in the Mother Theresa Hospital Center of Tirana, Albania. Selection of the suitable site for anastomosis after esophagectomy, whether cervical or thoracic is the key for optimal oncological results. The goal is to minimize recurrence in oncological patients and to avoid complications related to surgery. Controversy still exists among surgeons as the optimal site for anastomosis as well as whether the anastomosis is done manually or with a stapler.

Material and methods

From October 2018 to June 2021, 27 surgical interventions of esophageal cancer were performed in our surgical unit. In 15 patients, subtotal esophagectomy Ivor-Lewis with a mediastinal esophago-gastric anastomosis was performed. In 8 patients, distal esophagectomy and proximal gastrectomy with an abdominal esophago-gastric anastomosis was performed. In 4 patients, subtotal esophagectomy with a cervical esophago-gastric anastomosis, Akiyama procedure was performed. In this study we are evaluating the Akiyama procedure with description of the technique, patient criteria of inclusion, oncological protocol and postoperative care.


In our practice we used chemotherapy and radiotherapy as part of a multimodality treatment plan. All of our patients with carcinoma had radiation and chemotherapy prior to surgery. The use of stapler devices in cervical anastomoses in some studies is linked with higher rate of leakage but we consider it a preferential choice of the surgeon. We opted for a one-layer esophagogastric anastomosis in the neck as shown in some studies instead of the two-layer technique because of lower rates of stricture formation. The level of exposure in the cervical route is advantageous in making an accurate anastomosis. In our patients we used the retrosternal space for esophageal replacement to avoid local tumor recurrence in the posterior mediastinum.


As in other cancers there is a mandatory evaluation in congruence to the guidelines in order to each patient have a surgical or adjuvant therapy according to its stage. As per guidelines patients in a T1-2, N0 stage are treated with surgery alone and a close follow up for recurrence and patients in a T3 or N1/M1 stage should be considered for adjuvant therapy prior to surgery. In patients that have extensive disease and are not surgical candidates are considered for chemotherapy and radiation alone. It is advised that the type of surgery performed is the one in which the surgeon is more experienced and has the best outcome in terms of surgical strategy in terms of morbidity and mortality.

Keywords: General surgery, Esophageal cancer, Akiyama procedure, Cervical esophago-gastric anastomosis.

DOI: 10.7176/ALST/96-02

Publication date: December 31st 2022

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ISSN (Paper)2224-7181 ISSN (Online)2225-062X

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