Oesophageal and Stomach Cancers

Surgical treatment of cancer of the oesophagus

Depending on the extent of the cancer of the oesophagus – and where the tumour is located – surgeons can perform a number of surgical treatments. All patients are evaluated on an individual basis by a multi-disciplinary team and looked after according to their needs. 

Most patients will have part of their oesophagus removed. This surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and can be open or laparoscopic (keyhole). The surgeon will already have located the extent of the affected cells in the oesophagus and will remove however much is needed. If the cancer has spread to the stomach part of that can be removed also. When all the affected area has been removed the surgeon will re-join the healthy areas. 

As this is major surgery you can expect to stay in for around 10-14 days before returning home. Patients will work with the team on their recuperation and recovery and this can be dependent on how fit the patient was before surgery and how they respond after.

Surgical treatment of carcinoma stomach and gastro-intestinal stromal tumours (GIST) 

Stomach cancer usually develops in the cells of the stomach lining but less often tumours can also develop in the muscle or connective tissue of the stomach wall. These second types of tumour are called gastro-intestinal stromal tumours – or GIST. 

Under general anaesthetic the surgeon will remove part or all of the stomach depending on the extent of the cancer. Some tissue around the cancer will also be removed. 

After the surgery patients will find that they are not able to eat quite as much as they had been able to previously and may find it more comfortable to eat smaller meals more frequently for a time after.