What Are the Risks of Esophageal Cancer Surgery?

For many people who are diagnosed with esophageal cancer, surgery (esophagectomy) is an important part of treatment. Much like any other major operation, an esophagectomy has some potential risks and side effects. To ensure the best possible outcome, it’s important to seek treatment at a high-volume cancer center like Moffitt Cancer Center, where surgical teams have unmatched experience. That’s because when it comes to surgery, experience translates to highly refined expertise, which in turn can reduce the risk of surgical complications.

Specific risks associated with the surgical treatment of esophageal cancer

In addition to general infections, pneumonia and adverse reactions to anesthesia, some of the specific risks and side effects of esophageal cancer surgery include:

  • Hoarseness and other vocal changes
  • A narrowing (stricture), blockage or leak at the point where the esophagus is surgically reattached to the stomach
  • Nerve damage that causes the stomach to empty slowly, which can create a feeling of fullness after consuming only a small amount of food
  • Gastroesophageal reflux and heartburn
  • Diarrhea and other digestive issues
  • Nausea and vomiting

Based on our outstanding reputation, patients from across the nation turn to Moffitt Cancer Center for esophageal cancer surgery. We’re widely recognized as a leader in surgical innovation, and our surgeons have extensive experience in using the latest surgical techniques, including minimally invasive and robotic procedures. What’s more, through our robust clinical trials program, our patients can benefit from promising new treatments that are not yet available in other settings. For these reasons and many others, our esophageal cancer outcomes consistently exceed the national averages, and our patients have a better quality of life.

If you’d like to discuss esophageal cancer surgery with an oncologist in the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, you are welcome to do so whether or not you have a physician’s referral. To request an appointment, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online.