Oesophagectomy is an operation performed usually for the treatment of oesophageal cancer. Very rarely is it performed for patients with benign disease. Oesophageal cancer is an increasing problem in Australia and oesophagectomy offers the only chance of cure.
Oesophageal cancer is the most common indication for surgery. Often chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy are recommended pre-operatively and occasionally post-operatively. All patients will be discussed at a Multi-Disciplinary Team Meeting.
Other indications include benign diseases such as peptic strictures, benign lesions (GIST) or achalasia.
There are generally 2 types of surgery offered depending on the location of the tumour:
- 2 Stage Oesophagectomy (Ivor-Lewis) – involves abdominal and thoracic (chest) incisions. These are generally performed laparoscopically (keyhole) for the abdomen and through an open (larger) incision in the chest.
- 3 Stage Oesophagectomy (McKeown) – involves abdominal, thoracic and neck incisions. Various parts of this operation are performed thorascopically, laparoscopically and open depending on your surgeon.
Total Upper GI Surgery will recommend one operative approach based on your clinical symptoms, previous surgery and medical problems. It is your decision to proceed with surgery. Surgery will typically involve a 10-14 days stay in hospital.