Esophagectomy is a procedure used to treat esophageal cancer by removing all or part of the esophagus. On rare occasions, doctors will perform an esophagectomy to treat Barrett’s esophagus in patients with precancerous cells. If you would like more information about esophagectomy and other treatments for Barrett’s esophagus, please contact La Peer Health Systems’ Barrett’s Esophagus Center of Excellence by calling (888) 548-7614.
The Esophagectomy Procedure
The surgeons at the Barrett’s Esophagus Center of Excellence can perform esophagectomies using either open or laparoscopic surgical techniques.
In laparoscopic surgery, our Los Angeles surgeons insert a camera and surgical tools through small incisions in the belly. Minimally invasive techniques are more commonly used for removing small cancers. In open surgery, our doctors perform the procedure through larger cuts in the neck and upper belly or in the right chest and upper belly. After removing the affected portion of the esophagus, our surgeons bring up part of the stomach to form a new esophagus. Our surgeons may also remove lymph nodes in the neck and chest in instances where cancer has spread.
After completing the procedure, the doctor may place a feeding tube to be used while the patient recovers. Esophagectomy is a serious procedure with a longer recovery period.
Endoscopic RFA as an Alternative to Esophagectomy
For some patients, endoscopic radiofrequency ablation therapy provides a great alternative to esophagectomy for the treatment of Barrett’s esophagus. During RFA, our expert gastroenterologists utilize the HALO System’s Ablative Catheter via an upper endoscope to direct energy at the pre-cancerous tissue. Once the damaged tissue has been removed, healthy tissue can grow back in its place. Studies indicate that RFA is effective in preventing esophageal cancer in patients with both low-grade and high-grade dysplasia.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the risks associated with esophagectomy?
A: Esophagectomy is a serious surgical procedure with a number of risks including acid reflux, injury to the stomach or other organs, and leakage from the spot where the esophagus and stomach have been connected. Other general risks associated with surgical procedures include infection and adverse reactions to anesthesia.
Q: Will I experience heartburn after undergoing esophagectomy?
A: Patients may experience a leakage of bile and stomach contents into the esophagus because the muscles that control the lower esophageal sphincter are often affected by surgery.
Q: Who is a candidate for RFA?
A: Patients with non-dysplastic Barrett’s esophagus, low-grade dysplasia and high-grade can all be candidates for RFA. Ask the GI specialists at the Barrett’s Esophagus Center if you would benefit from this top of the line procedure.
Q: Who should consider esophagectomy?
A: An esophagectomy is performed for patients with esophageal cancer and certain patients with Barrett’s esophagus demonstrating high-grade dysplasia.
Contact the Barrett’s Esophagus Center of Excellence
At the Barrett’s Esophagus Center of Excellence in Los Angeles, we offer a number of cutting-edge treatments such as endoscopic RFA for Barrett’s esophagus. For more information about RFA or esophagectomy, call us to schedule your consultation at (888) 548-7614.
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