Jump to: navigation, search
ICD-10 code:
ICD-9 code: 42.40
MeSH D016629
Other codes:

WikiDoc Resources for Esophagectomy


Most recent articles on Esophagectomy

Most cited articles on Esophagectomy

Review articles on Esophagectomy

Articles on Esophagectomy in N Eng J Med, Lancet, BMJ


Powerpoint slides on Esophagectomy

Images of Esophagectomy

Photos of Esophagectomy

Podcasts & MP3s on Esophagectomy

Videos on Esophagectomy

Evidence Based Medicine

Cochrane Collaboration on Esophagectomy

Bandolier on Esophagectomy

TRIP on Esophagectomy

Clinical Trials

Ongoing Trials on Esophagectomy at Clinical

Trial results on Esophagectomy

Clinical Trials on Esophagectomy at Google

Guidelines / Policies / Govt

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on Esophagectomy

NICE Guidance on Esophagectomy


FDA on Esophagectomy

CDC on Esophagectomy


Books on Esophagectomy


Esophagectomy in the news

Be alerted to news on Esophagectomy

News trends on Esophagectomy


Blogs on Esophagectomy


Definitions of Esophagectomy

Patient Resources / Community

Patient resources on Esophagectomy

Discussion groups on Esophagectomy

Patient Handouts on Esophagectomy

Directions to Hospitals Treating Esophagectomy

Risk calculators and risk factors for Esophagectomy

Healthcare Provider Resources

Symptoms of Esophagectomy

Causes & Risk Factors for Esophagectomy

Diagnostic studies for Esophagectomy

Treatment of Esophagectomy

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

CME Programs on Esophagectomy


Esophagectomy en Espanol

Esophagectomy en Francais


Esophagectomy in the Marketplace

Patents on Esophagectomy

Experimental / Informatics

List of terms related to Esophagectomy

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Esophagectomy or Oesophagectomy (regional variation in spelling) is the surgical removal of all or part of the esophagus (also spelt 'oesophagus').


The principal objective is to remove the esophagus, a part of the gastrointestinal tract ("food pipe"). It is normally done to remove cancerous tumors from the body. It is best done when an esophageal cancer is detected early, before it has spread. If taken up early enough, an esophagectomy might prove to be life saving. Despite significant improvements in technique and postoperative care, the long term survival for esophageal cancer is still poor. Currently multimodality treatment is needed (chemotherapy and radiation therapy) for advanced tumors. Esophagectomy is also occasionally performed for benign disease such as esophageal atresia in children, achalasia, or caustic injury.


There are two main types of esophagectomy.

  • A trans-hiatal esophagectomy is performed on the neck and abdomen simultaneously.
  • A trans-thoracic esophagectomy involves opening the thorax (chest).

In most cases, the stomach is transplanted into the neck and the stomach takes the place originally occupied by the esophagus. In some cases, the removed esophagus is replaced by another hollow structure, such as the patient's colon.

Another option which is slowly becoming available is minimally invasive surgery (MIS) which is performed laparoscopically and thoracoscopically.


Esophagectomy is a very complex operation that can take between 4 and 8 hours to perform. It is best done exclusively by doctors who specialise in upper gastrointestinal surgery. Anesthesia for an esophagectomy is also complex, owing to the problems with managing the patient's airway and lung function during the operation.

Average mortality rates (deaths either in hospital or within 30 days of surgery) for the operation are around 10% in US hospitals. However recognized major cancer hospitals typically report mortality rates under 5%.

Major complications occur in 10-20% of patients, and some sort of complication (major and minor) occurs in 40%. Time in hospital is usually 1-2 weeks and recovery time 3-6 months.

External links