Treatment for esophageal cancer has continued to improve throughout the past few decades and our surgeons at Yale Thoracic Surgery have been at the leading edge of this progress. When aiming for a cure, surgery sometimes is the sole form of therapy; other times, it is part of a therapy plan that includes chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy. Surgery in these “curative-intent” plans typically involve the removal of the esophagus, otherwise referred to as an esophagectomy. In this operation, the affected portion of the esophagus is removed and the remaining portion is reconnected to the stomach, which has been fashioned to join the remainder of the normal esophagus.
An open esophagectomy is a complex procedure. Our surgeons are highly skilled, using muscle-sparing incisions during open surgeries for less postsurgical pain and faster recoveries. This technique uses incisions in the abdomen and chest or abdomen and neck. Minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) involves removing the esophagus through a series of small incisions, instead of a few large ones. This type of procedure may allow patients to leave the hospital sooner and recover more quickly. It is not an option for everyone and is best determined by your surgeon as well as with the multidisciplinary esophageal cancer team.
At the time of surgery, your surgeon will remove the lymph nodes to determine if the cancer has spread. By examining the lymph nodes, our thoracic team can learn more about the way your cancer has developed and make strategic decisions in terms of further treatment following surgery.
Esophageal cancer is a complicated, aggressive disease that demands the attention from experienced and highly trained surgeons. Our nationally renowned surgeons have continually excelled in caring for patients with esophageal cancer. They have extensive experience in all esophagectomy techniques, including open esophagectomy and minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE). This is a complex surgery that demands the skill that our world-class surgeons bring.
At Yale Thoracic Surgery, our focus is on you as a person, not just your cancer. As our patient, you will receive personalized care from surgeons and specialists who care deeply about your immediate and future emotional and physical well-being. Using a multidisciplinary approach and the latest technology, our expert team will create a comprehensive treatment plan that considers your specific condition and individual needs.