The following variables in the matched groups consisting of 42 patient pairs were compared: (1) postoperative clinical course; (2) postoperative complication; and a (3) nutritional assessment.

The following parameters were assessed: use of catecholamine, time to extubation, duration of ICU stay, time to ambulation, time to oral feeding, time to defecation/flatus, inflammatory response, and length of hospital stay.

Postoperative morbidity was analyzed according to the Clavien–Dindo classification (CD). Regarding the diagnosis of vocal cord palsy, each patient was routinely referred to an anesthesiologist at the time of extubation. Otolaryngologist conducted a swallowing assessment and examined hoarseness, pooling of saliva, and clearance to the esophagus with video endoscopy. We defined a pulmonary complication as the presence of clinical signs confirmed by chest X-ray or CT within 2 weeks postoperatively. Diagnosis of anastomotic leakage was based on the nature of the neck as well as CT and EGD. Chylothorax was diagnosed by either a change in milky white color of thoracic drainage, regardless of output, or confirmation of chylomicrons in the fluid with high‐volume discharge.

Maximum dosage of EN and total calorie intake were compared between two groups. Abdominal dysfunction related to EN was defined as gastro-intestinal complaints such as diarrhea and abdominal distention; the amount of tube feeding was reduced or temporarily suspended until the complaints resolved. We evaluated physical examination and biochemical nutritional markers before surgery and 1 month after esophagectomy. The biochemical nutritional markers included serum albumin (Alb), cholinesterase (ChE), and serum transthyretin (TTR).

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