Esophageal Cancer Surgery & Surgical Oncology Procedures
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Surgery for Esophageal Cancer
Surgery is the preferred procedure to treat early-stage adenocarcinoma. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), your surgical oncologist will perform surgery to treat Stage I and Stage II esophageal cancer. For later-stage esophageal cancer, we combine other forms of treatment, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy. These treatments may be used to shrink the tumor before surgery can be reconsidered. If cancer is found in the esophagus, nearby lymph nodes are also removed during surgery to test for the presence of cancer.
During an open esophagectomy, your surgical oncologist removes some or all of the esophagus, depending on the stage of the tumor. During this type of cancer surgery, your oncologist may make incisions in the abdomen and chest or abdomen and neck. In some cases incisions may be made in all three of these areas. The placement of incisions depends on the location of the cancer.
Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy
If the affected area is small, a minimally invasive esophagectomy may be performed instead of an open esophagectomy. This procedure is performed by making a few small incisions instead of one or two larger incisions. During this type of surgery for esophageal cancer, your surgical oncologist uses a laparoscope (long tube with small camera attached to the end) to help guide removal of the esophagus. Once part or the entire esophagus is removed, the remaining esophagus will be connected. If the entire lower portion of the esophagus is removed, the remaining esophagus will be connected to the stomach.
Endoscopic Mucosal Resection
At CTCA, we perform endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), a minimally invasive procedure used to remove cancerous tissue in the esophagus. It is used to remove very early stage esophageal cancer, and in some cases it is used in the diagnosis process. During an EMR, a thin tube (endoscope) is inserted down the throat. The endoscope will have instruments attached to the end that will remove the tumor. This type of surgery for esophageal cancer is an alternative to an esophagectomy, depending on the stage and type of cancer.
Next Topic: Radiation Therapy for Esophageal Cancer