Esophageal Cancer

If you develop esophageal cancer, an uncomfortable condition often indicated by difficulty swallowing, chest pain, heartburn, and weight loss, you will want to come to Mount Sinai to have your condition clearly diagnosed. Since there is a direct connection between your esophagus and your digestive tract, our surgeons work closely with gastroenterologists to evaluate your condition and determine the best treatment plan for you.

About Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer is cancer that starts in the esophagus, the tube that moves food from your mouth to your stomach. Acid reflux disease may be a possible risk factor along with smoking and drinking too much alcohol.

The first step in treatment of esophageal cancer is a careful assessment of the tumor stage. We employ a range of diagnostics to determine the presence of a tumor, and we use lymph node sampling to determine the nature of the cancer, also referred to as the cancer stage.

We then collaborate with experts in Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology to create the best treatment plan for each patient. Depending on the type and stage of cancer, options may include surgery alone, or in combination with other treatment modalities.

Procedures we perform

Types of surgical procedures we may use to treat esophageal cancer include:

  • Total gastrectomy with esophagojejunostomy—involves a resection of the stomach and the esophagus. The surgeons then recreate the connection to the small bowel to allow normal food intake. We use this procedure on esophageal tumors that also involve gastric cancer.
  • Ivor Lewis esophagectomy—combines an abdominal approach as well as a thoracic approach to remove tumors that are located in the mid-esophagus.
  • Laparoscopic transhiatal esophagectomy—uses a combination of minimally invasive and traditional techniques to remove tissues of the esophagus and recreate the connection to the stomach.

To ease your recovery, we engage nutritionists and swallowing therapists who will work with you to resolve any discomfort you may experience after surgery.