(say "ee-sof-uh-JEK-tuh-mee") is surgery to remove all or part of the
esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the throat to the
stomach. Nearby lymph nodes and other tissue may also be removed. The doctor
connects the remaining healthy part of the esophagus to the stomach so
that you can still swallow and eat food. This surgery is mainly used to
treat esophageal cancer. But it can also be used for other problems with the
During the surgery, the doctor makes large cuts
in the belly and the upper chest or neck. These cuts are called incisions. Where they are depends on where the
problem is. After surgery, you may be in the hospital for 1 to 2 weeks.
You have to be very careful about what you eat for 1 to 2 months after
surgery and maybe for the rest of your life. You may have a feeding tube
(J-tube) in your belly when you go home. This is to be sure you get enough
nutrition. This will come out when you are able to eat normally. How long this
takes varies. For many people, it takes 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. Your doctor
will give you detailed information on your diet and how to use the
You may feel weak after surgery. Take good care of yourself. Get enough rest and stay active. This can help you heal faster. You will probably need to take at least 6 to 12 weeks off from work.
This depends on the type of work you do and how you feel. You will need more
time to get better if you need other treatment for cancer, such as
Having cancer can be scary. You may feel many
emotions and may need some help coping. Seek out family, friends, and
counsellors for support. You also can do things at home to help you feel better
while you go through treatment. Your doctor can guide you to many local
resources for support and more information. Call the Canadian Cancer Society
(1-888-939-3333) or visit its website at www.cancer.ca for more
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and
call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your
test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be
stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter P936 in the search box to learn more about "Esophagectomy: Before Your Surgery."
Current as of:
August 9, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kenneth Bark, MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
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