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Patients with operable esophageal cancer had significantly better short-term outcomes with minimally invasive versus open surgery, investigators in a multicenter European study reported.

Pulmonary infection during the first 2 weeks after surgery occurred in only a third as many patients treated with minimally invasive surgery, according to Miguel A. Cuesta, MD, of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, and co-authors.

The less invasive approach was also associated with significantly less blood loss, shorter length of stay, and less pain and vocal-cord paralysis after 6 weeks, they reported online in The Lancet.

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