Esophagectomy - minimally invasive - Recovery
Minimally invasive esophagectomy; Robotic esophagectomy; Removal of the esophagus – minimally invasive
After the Procedure:
Most people stay in the hospital for 7 to 14 days after an esophagectomy. How long you stay will depend on what type of surgery you had. You may spend 1 to 3 days in the intensive care unit (ICU) right after surgery.
During your hospital stay, you will:
- Be asked to sit on the side of your bed and walk on the same day you had surgery
- Not be able to eat for at least the first 2 to 3 days after surgery. After that, you will begin with liquids. You will be fed through a feeding tube that goes into your intestine.
- Have a tube coming out of the side of your chest to drain fluids that build up
- Wear special stockings on your feet and legs to prevent blood clots
- Receive shots to prevent blood clots
- Receive pain medicine through an IV or take pills. You may receive your pain medicine through a special pump. With this pump, you press a button to deliver pain medicine when you need it. This allows you to control the amount of pain medicine you get.
- Do breathing exercises
Many people recover well from this surgery and can eat a fairly normal diet after they recover. Talk with your doctor about the best way to treat your cancer.
Esophagectomy is best performed at a center that routinely does this type of surgery.
- Reviewed last on: 1/26/2011
- Shabir Bhimji, MD, PhD, Specializing in General Surgery, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Midland, TX. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Maish M. Esophagus. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 41.
National Cancer Institute. Esophageal Cancer Treatment PDQ. Updated 1/24/2011.
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