July 25, 2024


An esophagectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing a portion of the esophagus (or the “food tube”) because of disease or disorder. This is a treatment option for esophageal cancer, Barrett’s esophagus, and other swallowing disorders.

How is it performed?

Depending on the size and place of the disease, obstruction, or tumor – the surgeon will decide where the incisions will be made. Surgical options may include a thoracotomy, a neck incision, abdominal incision, or even robotic repair. There are several ways to adequately remove portions of the esophagus, but that will be determined on an individual patient basis. The surgeon may then pull a portion of the stomach up into the chest and connect the remaining parts of the esophagus.

Surgical risks

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Leakages
  • Difficulty swallowing

Possible goals of esophagectomy

  • Prevent the spread of disease (metastasis)
  • Remove obstruction
  • Improve swallowing
  • Decrease risks of aspiration