Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence





Background and Aims Oesophagectomy is the primary curative treatment for oesophageal cancer but is associated with considerable postoperative morbidity and mortality. To better understand the aetiology of impaired health-related quality of life (HRQL) in oesophageal cancer survivors (OCS), this study sought to determine the longitudinal changes in nutritional status, nutrition-impact symptoms (NIS), and HRQL in this cohort, and to determine which variables have the greatest impact on postoperative HRQL decline.

Methods Data, derived from St. James' Hospital, Dublin, included patients who underwent oesophagectomy from October 2017 to May 2019 and attended clinic preoperatively and 6 months postoperatively. A subset attended a further 12-month appointment. HRQL and symptom data were collected using validated questionnaires and anthropometric measures were completed by clinicians. Data were analysed using SPSS.

Results A total of 66 patients were studied preoperatively and 6 months postoperatively, of whom 37 were studied at 12 months postoperatively. Malnutrition remained prevalent at each time-point, although rates did not significantly change longitudinally. Conversely, the prevalence of malabsorption (7.6%–14.3%, P<0.001) and dumping syndrome (67.7%–74.3%, P=0.003) significantly increased with increasing time postoperatively. NIS were significantly associated with impaired HRQL function scores and were independent predictors of global quality of life (gQOL) score postoperatively (P=0.004). A diagnostic threshold of gastrointestinal symptom severity (11.5) that identifies patients at risk of impaired gQOL was therefore reported.

Conclusion Malnutrition and NIS are prevalent post-oesophagectomy, the latter significantly associated with reduced HRQL. Targeted intervention in those with severe NIS could be highly beneficial, highlighting the need for dietetic input in OCS.