Esophageal Cancer Surgery
Kenneth Blank, MD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
What are the options for esophageal cancer surgery?
Kenneth Blank, MD, OncoLink Editorial Assistant, responds:
Many surgical approaches exist for extirpation of esophageal cancer. The four most common are listed below, and differ in the location of the incisions and placement of the anastamosis.
- Transthoracic or Ivor Lewis Esophagectomy (named after British surgeon Dr. Ivor Lewis who described this procedure in 1940s): Right thoracotomy and laparotomy. The anastamosis lies in the chest.
- Total Thoracic Esophagectomy: Same as Ivor Lewis with a neck incision. The anastamosis lies in the neck.
- Transhiatal Esophagectomy: The esophagus is bluntly dissected from above through a neck incision and below through a laparotomy. There is no thoracotomy. The anastamosis lies in the neck.
- Thoracoabdominal Esophagectomy: One incision extending from the left thorax into the abdomen. The anastamosis lies in the chest.
- Laparotomy: incision in the abdomen
- Thoracotomy: incision in the chest
- Anastamosis: the esophagus is removed and the two free ends of bowel are linked togetherthis linkage is called the anastamosis.