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Esophagectomy Overview

More than 15,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with esophageal cancer each year. Surgery is the most common treatment for this condition.

What is an Esophagectomy?

An esophagectomy is the surgical removal of a portion of the esophagus to treat cancer. After a portion of the esophagus is removed, the stomach is pulled up and joined to the remaining esophagus.

Esophagectomy at Brigham and Women's Hospital

Doctors and other caregivers at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center will work closely with you and your family to develop a treatment plan suited to your situation. As well as providing specialized medical care, we offer a range of supportive services, including nutritional counseling, emotional and spiritual support, financial advice, and complementary therapies, such as acupuncture and massage.

Typically, endoscopists at the Center for Gastrointestinal Oncology stage the esophageal cancer and then surgical oncologists at the Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology perform esophagectomies (traditional or minimally invasive) to treat the cancer. Surgery is considered for patients with stage 0, I, II, or III esophageal cancer. Following surgery, additional treatments – including radiation and/or chemotherapy – are offered to enhance local and systemic control of disease.

Cancer Care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center is devoted to helping people fight cancer by offering the most advanced treatment with compassion and care. We care for adult patients in 12 specialized centers, each devoted to a different type of cancer.

Part of our commitment to conquering cancer is developing new ways to prevent and screen for cancer, as well as developing new therapies. Milestones include:

  • Development of the CA 125 test, the first and only biomarker for ovarian cancer;
  • Pioneered new approaches in the assessment and treatment of prostate cancer;
  • Development of state-of-the-art surgical techniques for brain surgery.

Patient- and Family-focused Care

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has long been committed to not only the care of our patients but also the many other needs that they and their families have. This philosophy of patient- and family-focused care - involving systems and services that emphasize healing in a comfortable, relaxed environment – is a guiding force behind the care we provide at Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center.

Quality of Patient Care

BWH is committed to providing all of our patients with the safest, highest-quality, most-satisfying care possible and following established protocols that have been shown to improve patient outcomes. Our Inpatient Satisfaction Survey, sent to patients' to assess their total care experience, helps us to monitor what we are doing well and where we could improve. We pride ourselves in the Quality of Patient Care we provide and how we compare with other hospitals.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital Cancer Team

The Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology and the Center for Gastrointestinal Oncology feature multidisciplinary teams of specialists, including radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgeons, physicists, radiologists, interventional radiologists, endoscopists, pathologists, specialized nursing staff, dietitians, physical therapists, and social workers who use a patient-focused approach to deliver the most effective treatment for each patient. Meet our thoracic oncology and gastrointestinal oncology teams.

Contact Us

If you believe you should have an evaluation and would like to schedule an appointment with one of our esophageal cancer experts, call 1-800-294-9999 to speak to one of our knowledgeable coordinators who can help to connect you to the doctor that best meets your needs, or fill out an online appointment request form.


For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH