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Esophagus Surgery (General)

Underlying Problem Requiring Esophagus Surgery:
Doctors are able to use a number of approaches when it comes to repairing damage to the esophagus. This damage can be the result of various diseases and conditions. For example, a section of the esophagus may need to be entirely removed if a cancerous tumor has formed. These procedures can be aided by the use of small cameras inserted either down the throat or through a hole in the chest cavity.

Treatment:

The type of treatment chosen will be a result of the underlying problem being treated. If doctors are suspicious of cancer, for example, then they will often perform an esophagoscopy in order to examine the area. At the same time, they are able to remove pieces of tissue in order to perform a biopsy. If cancer has been detected, treatment may include an esophagectomy, where the part of the esophagus with the cancer is removed and the two healthy pieces are rejoined. For even more severe cases, doctors may choose to do an esophagogastrectomy. This includes the removal of part of the esophagus, as well as part of the stomach.

Recovery from Esophagus Surgery:

Recovery from an esophagoscopy will usually not take more than a day or two. There may be some soreness in the throat, and if a biopsy was performed, the pain may be more significant. The esophagoscopy and esophagectomy, however, are major surgeries and will require a more extensive recovery process. The patient\'s healthcare team will work with him or her to determine how best to proceed. Obviously, eating and drinking will be severely limited as the sutures heal. Physical activity will also be impeded during this timeframe.

Patients may be referred for esophagus surgery for one or more of the following reasons:
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Motility Disorders
  • Dysphagia
  • Achalasia
  • Esophageal Diverticula

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