Conditions of the Esophagus

Part of the digestive tract, the esophagus is the hollow, muscular tube that connects the back of the throat to the stomach. It is located behind the trachea and is about 10 to 13 inches in length. Rings of the esophagus muscle, known as sphincters, contract and relax, allowing food and liquid to pass into the stomach. Common diseases of the esophagus, such as achalasia and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), are primarily related to swallowing problems and the backflow of acid into the lower esophagus. Like hiatal and paraesophageal hernias, these esophagus conditions are usually benign (non-cancerous). The esophagus can also be the site of complex problems such as cancer of the esophagus.

Board-certified general and gastrointestinal surgeons at Brigham and Women’s Hospital specialize in esophagus disease, with particular expertise in minimally invasive surgical techniques such as robotic-assisted procedures, including laparoscopic Heller myotomy, Nissen fundoplication and the Linx procedure.

Known worldwide for their skill at identifying and treating esophagus conditions, our surgeons are faculty members at Harvard Medical School and are active clinical researchers who continually seek to improve treatments for esophageal disease. They train the next generation of surgeons through our surgical residency and fellowship programs.

General and gastrointestinal surgery services are available at multiple locations in and around Boston.

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