Video assisted surgery for esophageal cancer is an advanced surgical technique. It is being adopted with a concept of minimally invasive surgery. Since there are several options of the operative procedure for thoracic esophageal cancer, there are several laparoscopic approaches. The first VATS esophagectomy through a right thoracoscopic approach and the first transhiatal esophagectomy were reported in early 1990's. Mediastinoscope-assisted esophagectomy is also reported as a substitute of the blunt dissection of the esophagus. Moreover, video assisted Ivor-Lewis esophagectomy by right thoracotomy with intrathoracic anastomosis has also been tried. Furthermore, laparoscopic gastric mobilization and gastroplasty is also widely accepted as a substitution for open laparotomy. This article serves to review the literature on laparoscopic approaches for esophageal cancer.
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