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(Removal of the Esophagus)
Reasons for Procedure
- Esophageal cancer
- Benign tumors and cysts of the esophagus
- Other esophageal abnormalities such as achalasia or Barrett esophagus
- Severe trauma
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- Blood clots
- Soreness in throat
- Adverse reaction to the anesthesia
- Leaks from the internal suture line, which may cause scarring and need for dilations
- Heart attack
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam
- Blood and urine tests
- Chest x-ray
- CT scan
- MRI scan
- Upper endoscopy
- Place a feeding tube into your small intestine (may be done during the esophagectomy)
- Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to 1 week before the procedure
- Arrange for someone to drive you home from the hospital and to help you at home.
- Eat a light meal the night before. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
Your doctor may ask you to:
- Use an enema to clear your intestines
- Follow a special diet.
- Take antibiotics or other medications.
- Shower using antibacterial soap the night before the surgery.
Description of the Procedure
- An open procedure using 1 large incision. The diseased area will be located and removed.
- A laproscopic procedure that uses several small incisions. A tiny camera and small surgical instruments will be inserted through the incisions. Looking at the esophagus on a monitor, the diseased area will be located and removed.
- A robot-assisted procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding your healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incision
- Avoiding heavy lifting for 6-8 weeks
- Doing home exercises
- Following your doctor's instructions
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
- Persistent nausea and/or vomiting
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you've been given
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Pain and/or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs
- Trouble swallowing
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2016
- Update Date: 05/23/2014