Esophagectomy is a surgical procedure where all or part of the esophagus is removed and part of the stomach is used to rebuild the esophagus. An esophagectomy is usually performed as a treatment for cancer of the esophagus. Esophagectomy may also be done to treat other conditions such as damage from reflux disease or an injury to the esophagus that interfere with the comfortable passage of food and liquids into the stomach.
During an esophagectomy, surgeons access the esophagus through incisions in the neck, abdomen or chest. Surgeons remove a portion of the esophagus and sometimes nearby lymph nodes. The stomach is then moved up into the chest and attached to the part of the esophagus that is still intact. Following an esophagectomy, the patient may need to make dietary changes to avoid pain, difficulty swallowing, and reflux symptoms.
Esophagectomy and other gastrointestinal procedures at Brigham and Women's Hospital
The surgeons at Brigham and Women's Hospital provides expert care and treatment for a variety of gastrointestinal cancers. Our world-class specialists offer the highest level of cancer surgery expertise in esophagectomy and other gastrointestinal surgeries, including pancreatic, stomach, liver and colorectal cancer surgery.
As part of Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, each patient meets with the team to develop a treatment plan tailored to the needs of the individual and the type and extent of the cancer. Treatment may involve an esophagectomy as well as radiation therapy and chemotherapy to kill cancer cells or to prevent the growth of a cancerous tumor. In addition, we provide a range of resources that include support groups, nutritional advice and integrative therapies to support the patient and their family throughout the process. Patients may also be able to take part in clinical trials, where researchers study potential new therapies for esophageal cancer.
Minimally invasive esophagectomy and other procedures
Surgeons at Brigham and Women's Hospital are one of the busiest teams in the country Most of these esophagectomy operations are minimally invasive procedures using state-of-the art equipment. This revolutionary advance in the treatment of esophageal cancer allows patients to heal more quickly, with less pain and fewer complications. Patients undergoing a minimally invasive esophagectomy often can return to work in four weeks, with scars that are barely visible.
In addition, Brigham and Women's Hospital is a world leader in using state-of-the-art robotic technology to perform a variety of minimally invasive procedures, including transoral robotic surgery to remove a tumor from a patient's throat, robotic hysterectomy, and robotic prostatectomy.
In addition to esophagectomy for esophageal cancer, Brigham and Women's Hospital offers the most advanced surgical treatment with the compassion and care for all types of cancer, including breast cancer, gynecological cancer, and lung cancer treatment.