Types of esophagectomy
We use different methods for esophagectomy based on where the cancer is located:
- Adenocarcinoma (cancer in the lower esophagus): The surgeon will remove the section of esophagus affected by cancer, a small area of surrounding healthy tissue, and part of the stomach. Next, the surgeon will connect the stomach to the remaining, healthy portion of the esophagus.
- Squamous cell carcinoma (cancer in the upper esophagus): The surgeon will remove most of the esophagus and bring the stomach up higher to connect it to the remaining, healthy tissue. If there is not enough healthy esophagus left to make this connection, the surgeon may use part of the intestine.
Benefits of robot-assisted surgery
In a robot-assisted esophagectomy, the surgeon uses controls similar to joysticks to manipulate robot arms. These arms hold special surgical instruments that the surgeon guides into keyhole-sized incisions. The robotic “wrists” move 360 degrees, which allows the surgeon greater precision and flexibility.
The benefits of this type of surgery over traditional open surgery include:
- Better outcomes
- Faster recovery
- Shorter hospital stay
- Smaller incisions and minimal scarring