Drainless robot-assisted minimally invasive oesophagectomy—randomized controlled trial (RESPECT)

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



BACKGROUND: The purpose of this randomized trial is to evaluate the early removal of postoperative drains after robot-assisted minimally invasive oesophagectomy (RAMIE). Evidence is lacking about feasibility, associated pain, recovery, and morbidity.

METHODS/DESIGN: This is a randomized controlled multicentric trial involving 72 patients undergoing RAMIE. Patients will be allocated into two groups. The "intervention" group consists of 36 patients. In this group, abdominal and chest drains are removed 3 h after the end of surgery in the absence of contraindications. The control group consists of 36 patients with conventional chest drain management. These drains are removed during the further postoperative course according to a standard algorithm. The primary objective is to investigate whether postoperative pain measured by NRS on the second postoperative day can be significantly reduced in the intervention group. Secondary endpoints are the intensity of pain during the first week, analgesic use, number of postoperative chest X-ray and CT scans, interventions, postoperative mobilization (steps per day as measured with an activity tracker), postoperative morbidity and mortality.

DISCUSSION: Until now, there have been no trials investigating different intraoperative chest drain strategies in patients undergoing RAMIE for oesophageal cancer with regard to perioperative complications until discharge. Minimally invasive approaches combined with enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols lower morbidity but still include the insertion of chest drains. Reduction and early removal have been proposed after pulmonary surgery but not after RAMIE. The study concept is based on our own experience and the promising current results of the RAMIE procedure. Therefore, the presented randomized controlled trial will provide statistical evidence of the effectiveness and feasibility of the "drainless" RAMIE.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT05553795. Registered on 23 September 2022.


Original languageEnglish
Article number303
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

External IDs

PubMed 37127683
WOS 000980001300001
ORCID /0000-0002-6530-5855/work/146646277
PubMedCentral PMC10152702
ORCID /0000-0002-5224-1709/work/148604587


Sustainable Development Goals


  • ERAS (enhanced recovery after surgery), Oesophageal cancer, Oesophagectomy, Postoperative pain, RAMIE, Ramie, Humans, Postoperative Complications/etiology, Treatment Outcome, Esophagectomy/methods, Pain, Postoperative/surgery, Robotics, Abdomen, Esophageal Neoplasms/surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures/methods

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