How is Esophageal Cancer Surgery Performed?
- If you are a candidate for an esophagectomy, a surgery to remove all or part of the esophagus, there are several things to discuss with your doctor beforehand.
- There are two parts to the surgery: first, a piece of esophagus and lymph nodes are removed, and then the esophagus is reattached to the stomach.
- The reattachment process can lead to potentially severe complications.
- After surgery, some patients may need to be on a feeding tube for several weeks as they recover.
“It is a surgery where if it is not done right can be fraught with a lot of complications,” Dr. Flores told SurvivorNet. “Even when it is done right, it is a surgical procedure that can have complications that can compromise the quality of life. That’s why I think it’s very important to make sure, when you see someone, you’re going to someone who is very experienced in performing esophagectomies.”Read More
“There are two parts to that. One is the resection for cancer cure, and one is the reconstruction for your quality of life,” Dr. Flores said.
What to Expect Post-Surgery
With some patients, there may be some issues when it comes to healing. There can be potentially serious complications with esophageal cancer surgery.
“So, the morbitity or the potential complication of that surgery is not in the resection of that cancer, it’s in the reconstruction,” Dr. Flores said. “That’s the area that you really have to be meticulous about so that the patient post-operatively can eat normally and have a normal life.”
Following surgery, some patients may need to get nutrients through tube feeding, typically for around 4 to 6 weeks, as they recover.