At North Orlando Surgical Group, we are proud to have established a unique surgical practice characterized by superior skills and extraordinary services both to the patient we care for as well as their referring physicians. We are recognized in Central Florida for our ability to perform complex procedures in the least invasive way. Our attentive staff is focused on providing the highest level of personal services and are committed to making every patient’s surgical experience as comfortable and convenient as it can be.
The esophagus is the tube of tissue that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. When you swallow, smooth muscles squeeze the food down the tube into the stomach where it can be broken down for digestion. An esophagectomy is a procedure where all or part of this tube is removed. A few of the reasons this might be done are to treat esophageal diverticulum or outpouchings in the esophagus, or to remove a cancer in the esophagus. Some reasons people might develop esophageal cancer are:
• A history of GERD/heartburn
• Alcohol abuse
• Radiation exposure
Esophageal resection, or esophagectomy, is done by making incisions in the chest, abdomen and/or neck depending on which part of the esophagus needs to be removed.
The three main types of resection are:
• En bloc
A transhiatal esophagectomy involves the surgeon making an incision in the neck and the abdomen. The area where the cancer is located is removed and the stomach is brought up into the chest or neck to accommodate for the missing segment of esophagus. A jejunostomy tube, or feeding tube, is then placed to allow the patient to take in nutrition while healing.
A transthoracic esophagectomy is similar to the approach used in the transhiatal esophagectomy, with one incision made in the abdomen. However, the upper incision is instead made in the chest. You will also spend several days in the hospital and will be given a feeding tube for nutrition.
Finally, in the en bloc approach an incision is made in the abdomen, chest, and neck. The entire esophagus and part of the stomach is removed and a stomach tube is created and attached to the remainder of esophagus that is left in the neck. Again, a feeding tube is placed for nutrition.
In the case of all three approaches you can expect to spend several days in the hospital. When you are discharged home you will be instructed to call our office right away to schedule your follow up appointment, which is usually in two weeks. Over time you will be instructed on how to advance your diet. When you are taking nutrition by mouth the feeding tube can be removed in the office. Nutrition is slowly advanced from liquids to soft foods to finely chopped foods etc.
Esophagectomies are technically challenging procedures that not all surgeons perform. It is important to choose a surgeon with the skills and expertise to perform an esophagectomy successfully. Here at North Orlando Surgical Group our surgeons not only have this expertise, but also possess the caring to guide you through your surgery and recuperation. Call our office today for a consultation to discuss your options for treatment!