Treatment for Advanced Esophagus Cancer

If you have advanced esophageal cancer, you may need surgery to remove part or all of your esophagus (esophagectomy). The esophagus is the hollow tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. The esophagus is then rebuilt using part of another organ.

This surgery can also be used for end-stage achalasia or when material has been ingested that damages the esophagus, but only when prior treatments have failed.

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To schedule an in-person or virtual appointment with a GI specialist, please fill out our general appointment form below or call our referral service at 888-4GW-DOCS.

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How the Procedure Is Performed

Removing all or part of the esophagus can be performed using minimally invasive techniques or through traditional open surgery. Minimally invasive surgery may result in less pain, less blood loss, and a shorter recovery.*

In a minimally invasive esophagectomy, several small incisions are made in the abdomen or chest. The surgeon inserts instruments and a laparoscope through the incisions. The laparoscope has a camera that the surgeon uses to view and perform the operation. This procedure may use robot assistance in some cases.

Open esophagectomy involves making one or more large incisions in the neck, chest, or abdomen. The surgeon then removes all or part of the esophagus.

Recovering From Surgery

Tube feeding is normally recommended for four to six weeks after surgery. A normal diet can then be resumed. You may lose some weight after surgery. A follow-up visit with the surgeon is normally held two weeks after surgery.

*Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if robotic surgery or minimally invasive surgery are right for you.