Surgery

Surgery is the option in which all or part of the esophagus is removed, called an esophagectomy.Often surgery is not the first approach to treatment, unless the esophageal tumor is limited to the esophagus. Even then, surgery may be preceded by chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments to kill as many tumor cells as possible before the surgery. Chemotherapy and irradiation may follow surgery in some cases, as insurance that no tumor cells remain.

There are several types of surgery for esophageal cancer

The type depends mainly on where the cancer is located. The surgeon may remove the whole esophagus or only the part that has the cancer. Usually, the surgeon removes the section of the esophagus with the cancer, lymph nodes, and nearby soft tissues. Part or all of the stomach may also be removed. You and your surgeon can talk about the types of surgery and which may be right for you.

The surgeon makes incisions into your chest and abdomen to remove the cancer. In most cases, the surgeon pulls up the stomach and joins it to the remaining part of the esophagus. Or a piece of intestine may be used to connect the stomach to the remaining part of the esophagus. The surgeon may use either a piece of small intestine or large intestine. If the stomach was removed, a piece of intestine is used to join the remaining part of the esophagus to the small intestine.

What Happens during Surgery?

During surgery, the surgeon may place a feeding tube into your small intestine. This tube helps you get enough nutrition while you heal.

You may have pain for the first few days after surgery. However, medicine will help control the pain. Before surgery, you should discuss the plan for pain relief with your health care team. After surgery, your team can adjust the plan if you need more relief. Your health care team will watch for signs of food leaking from the newly joined parts of your digestive tract. They will also watch for pneumonia or other infections, breathing problems, bleeding, or other problems that may require treatment.

The time it takes to heal after surgery is different for everyone and depends on the type of surgery. You may be in the hospital for at least one week.

Learn More About Life After Surgery…


Source: The Web site of the National Cancer Institute

Last updated: April 13, 2012 at 10:14 am

Privacy Policy: The personal information collected from the visitors of our website, including their identity, remains confidential. We respect the law(s) on confidentiality applicable to this website (hosting country) and we will never pass on these data to any third party, unless required by law. Our website does not collect any cookies. The ECAA is registered with the Health on the Net (HON) Organization.
The Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association, Inc. (ECAA) is a New York State non profit corporation which is recognized as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of Internal Revenue Code.

Disclaimer: This information contained in this site is for educational purposes only. The information here cannot and should not replace the guidance and opinions of your medial professional. The the authors, webmaster, the ECAA and other parties affiliated to the site have no responsibility for visitors' use of this site and/or any subsequent medical decisions or treatment.