Wednesday, December 28, 2011
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Surgeons at Mayo Clinic in Arizona have perfected a new procedure that offers a less invasive option in the treatment of one of the most severe cancers.
A relatively new form of esophagectomy developed by Mayo Clinic physicians using the throat as well as small incisions to perform the procedure was recently documented in a paper published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
VIDEO ALERT: Click to view a video of Dawn Jaroszewski, M.D., explaining the procedure.
Esophagectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a portion of the esophagus and then reconstruct it using part of another organ, usually the stomach or large intestine. Esophagectomy is a common treatment for esophageal cancer. During an esophagectomy, the surgeon removes all or part of the esophagus through a large incision in the chest. The esophagus is reconstructed using one of several other organs, most commonly the stomach.
Historically, esophagectomies involve major surgery yet, more and more, the procedure can be done with minimally invasive surgery. Surgeons at Mayo Clinic have taken the minimally invasive procedure one step further by using the throat as a natural pathway to perform parts of the procedure.
"Patients do very well. It allows them to have less pain, get out of the hospital sooner and get up and get moving," said Dawn Jaroszewski, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
Dr. Jaroszewski, who pioneered the procedure with Kristi Harold, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, said that with only several small incisions, this surgery can result in reduced pain and faster recovery than conventional surgery.
In December, the cardiothoracic team at Mayo Clinic performed the 100th esophagectomy using this new technique.
According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly 17,000 new cases of esophageal cancer are reported each year in the United States.
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