Oesophageal cancer surgery

Everything you need to know about oesophageal cancer and treatment

Oesophagectomy is the primary surgical procedure for oesophageal cancer. On this page, we will explain what it is and which symptoms you should closely monitor after surgery. 

Oesophageal cancer surgery Gold Coast

Oesophageal cancer explained

What is oesophageal cancer?

The oesophagus or food pipe is a muscular tube connecting the throat to the stomach, ensuring the seamless passage of food. When cancerous cells appear in the lining of the oesophagus, it can lead to symptoms including:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • New heartburn
  • Reflux that doesn’t go away
  • Black or bloody stools
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Vomit that has blood in it

In Australia, over 1,700 people were diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in 2022. The average age at diagnosis is 71 years old.

Dr Anna Isaacs
General Surgeon Gold Coast

Oesophageal cancer surgery Gold Coast

How is oesophageal cancer treated?

The type of treatment depends on the extent of the cancer and your overall health circumstances. 

Oesophagectomy for oesophageal cancer

This procedure involves removing the affected portion of the oesophagus and reconstructing the digestive tract, typically using part of the stomach or the large intestine.

The surgery: 

  • Is conducted under general anaesthesia.
  • Requires an incision in the abdomen, chest and or neck.
  • Involves the excision of the cancerous part of the oesophagus and the creation of a new path for food passage.
  • Takes many hours, depending on the complexity and location of the cancer.
  • Post-surgery, patients need a feeding tube temporarily to ensure proper nutrition as the digestive system heals.

Other procedures

Beyond oesophagectomy, several treatments are available:

  • Endoscopic treatments: These can remove very early-stage tumours without the need for an open surgery.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation: May be used before surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence or may be used instead of surgery, in some cases.

The decision to use any of these treatments will largely depend on the stage of the cancer, its type and other individual patient factors. 

Oesophagus surgeon Gold Coast, Lismore and Byron Bay

Core Specialist Group for oesophageal cancer

At Core Specialist Group, your health and comfort are our highest priority. If you have been told you may need an oesophagectomy and are looking for compassionate and exceptional patient care, please get in touch with our friendly team. With consulting rooms in Tugun, Lismore (NSW) and Byron Bay (NSW) we will make you feel at ease in the lead up to your consultation and possible surgery.

Core Specialist Group Gold Coast

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