ANESTHESIA AND PERIOPERATIVE MANAGEMENT OF PATIENTS WITH RESECTION FOR ESOPHAGEAL CARCINOMA
Summary. The current approach to the anesthetic procedure and postoperative intensive therapy after esophageal resection for esophageal carcinoma, as well as characteristic perioperative pathophysiological events are presented. The contributory factors of severe postsurgical morbidity are considered too. Esophagectomy is an extented procedure which includes laparotomy, thoracotomy and often cervicotomy, and carries a great surgical stress with a huge fluid shift. It is mostly per- formed in the aged population with a certain co-morbidity: malnutrition, compromized immune status, respiratory and car- diovascular diseases. Standardization of esophageal resection and reconstructive techniques together with the optimal perioperative management significantly reduce operative mortality. Preoperatively, the patients’ nutritive, respiratory and cardiac status should be improved. Intraoperatively, beside adequate depth of anesthesia which enables the optimal meta- bolic response to surgical stress, the invasive hemodynamic monitoring with insertion of pulmonary artery catheter is of great importance. The aim is to ensure adequate tissue perfusion and oxygenation avoiding pulmonary overhydration at the same time. Postoperatively, important role has epidural analgesia, allowing proper breathing and coughing and routine us- age of fiberbronchoscopy for clearance of pulmonary secretion. After resection there are several conditions which contribute to cough and swallow disturbances: bilateral vagotomy, the absence of upper and lower esophageal sphincters, transient aperistalsis of the substitute, sometimes a transient vocal cord paresis. All of these make patients prone to regurgitation and aspiration of duodenal and gastric juice. Currently, the pulmonary complications are the leading problems after this proce- dure, so their prevention and early treatment are the key tasks for the clinicians.