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Esophageal Cancer Surgery in Tacoma

Surgical Procedure from Our Office in the South Puget Sound Area

An esophagectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove part or all of the esophagus in order to potentially cure a patient’s esophageal cancer. The remaining esophagus is then attached to the stomach, which may be shifted up into the chest depending on how much of the esophagus had to be removed.

How Much of the Esophagus Will Need to Be Removed During an Esophagectomy?

Each case is different, but generally you can expect your surgeon to remove the cancerous tissue and 3-4 inch margins around it to make sure that no cancer is left behind. Part of the stomach may need to be cut away as well if it has been affected by the cancer.

If the surgeon is unable to join the stomach with the modified esophagus, they may elect to replace the missing tissue with a piece of the intestine. This method typically works quite well, though it is imperative that the intestine be relocated without damaging its blood vessels since this would cause the tissue of the intestine to die.

Some nearby lymph nodes will be removed during the esophagectomy as well. By testing these lymph nodes, Northwest Medical Specialties will be better able to determine whether or not your cancer is likely to spread. If cancerous cells are found within the lymph nodes, your specialist is likely to recommend other treatment methods such as chemotherapy or radiation.

How Extensive is an Esophagectomy Procedure?

For many years esophagectomies have been performed as open surgeries, which require large incisions that take a great deal of time to heal. With modern technologies, surgeons are now able to perform minimally invasive esophagectomies, though these are typically only advised for patients diagnosed with early stages of esophageal cancer.

HEALTH ALERT! For the safety of our patients and staff only patients will be allowed into our clinics and everyone MUST wear a mask. See additional information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).


November 16, 2020 Update

During these difficult times we are making every effort to keep our patients and staff safe from COVID 19, we appreciate your patience and understanding with the changes you may have seen within our practice.

We strive to protect our patients and staff as much as we possibly can from any exposure on our premises.  NWMS has implemented a system wide policy that does not allow anyone in the building that is not a patient and everyone must wear an NWMS provided mask over their mouth and nose during their time on our premises.  This is to protect our vulnerable patients from the unforeseen possibility of exposure to COVID 19 which can be transmitted through aerosol droplets.  Sadly, we have had patients that have died from the complications of COVID 19, which is both devastating and preventable.

We offer a virtual visit option for family, friends, and companions to participate in the care of our patients through Zoom.  Our staff will assist you with every step of the login process and invite you to participate in real time from your vehicle or designated safe space in our building. Please contact us at 253-428-8700 to set this up.

The following offices are temporarily closed:

  • Bonney Lake
  • Federal Way

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, please make sure to contact us via phone prior to your appointment. You may also contact us for any additional questions by calling our office at (253) 428-8700.

Here are a few additional resources as well:

World Health Organization

Centers for Disease Control