Surgery is the most common treatment if your cancer hasn't spread. Surgeons remove all or part of your oesophagus. For very early cancer, the surgeon just removes cancer from the lining of your oesophagus. 

Surgery to remove your oesophagus

Surgery to remove your oesophagus is called an oesophagectomy. There are different ways of having an oesophagectomy. 

Endoscopic mucosal resection - removing the lining of the oesophagus

This is surgery to remove abnormal cells or cancer from the lining of your oesophagus. It's for very early, small cancers.

Before your operation

Before your operation, you have tests to check your fitness and you meet members of your treatment team. 

On the day

You have a general anaesthetic so you can't feel anything during the operation. This sends you into a deep sleep. 

After surgery

Surgery to remove oesophageal cancer is major surgery. You wake up in the intensive care unit or a high dependency recovery unit.

Problems after surgery

There is a risk of problems or complications after any operation. Many problems are minor but some can be more serious. 

Last reviewed: 
02 Oct 2019
Coronavirus and cancer

We know it’s a worrying time for people with cancer, we have information to help.

Read our information about coronavirus and cancer