Minimally invasive esophagectomy

UF Health surgeons are among a handful of surgeons nationwide offering minimally invasive esophagectomy as a surgical therapy for patients with high-grade dysplasia of the esophagus, pre-cancerous malignancies or locally advanced tumors.

Performed by experts in surgical oncology and laparoscopic surgery, the minimally invasive esophagectomy enables surgeons to see the entire procedure instead of relying solely on their sense of touch, which leads to decreased blood loss and more accurate tumor and lymph node removal.

Steven N. Hochwald, M.D., former associate professor and director of surgical oncology, and Kfir Ben-David, M.D., a current assistant professor of surgery and esophageal surgeon, teamed up to bring the minimally invasive procedure to UF Health Shands. Advantages of the procedure include less bleeding, post-surgical pain, hospitalization and recovery time than traditional open trans-hiatal or transthoracic esophagectomies.

Although the incidence of esophageal cancer is dramatically increasing in the U.S., Hochwald and Ben-David say that they are able to offer the minimally invasive approach to most of the patients that they evaluate with this disease.

“Studies at the limited number of centers capable of performing this procedure consistently demonstrate a survival that is at least as good as standard open procedures, with a lower average hospitalization and lower complication and mortality rates, added Hochwald. “In our experience at Shands, patients also have better pulmonary function, less pain and quicker return to activities of daily living.”

For more information about minimally invasive esophagectomy, contact the UF Health GI Oncology program at 352.265.0990.