Jefferson University Hospitals


While esophageal cancer is rare in the United States, the traditional surgical treatment has been an esophagectomy, where your chest is opened in order to remove the tumor along with a portion of the esophagus, nearby lymph nodes and other tissue in the area.

First in Philadelphia to Offer Robotic Esophageal Mobilization Surgery

Utilizing breakthrough technology, Jefferson is the first in Philadelphia to offer robotic esophageal mobilization surgery, using the da Vinci® Robotic System. This technology improves on conventional minimally invasive techniques by decreasing the number of incisions required to perform the procedure. This results in:

  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Significantly less pain
  • Less blood loss and transfusions
  • Less scarring
  • Quicker return to normal activities

What Does Robotic Esophageal Mobilization Surgery Involve?

During the procedure, robotic arms with tiny cameras are placed in your right chest. Once that is complete, your surgeon utilizes the robotic instruments to guide the arms to the esophagus for its removal. Then they completely dissect the thoracic esophagus with four small incisions, allowing it to be successfully separated from the pericardium, the airway, the aorta and the thoracic duct.

The procedure takes about two hours to perform, allowing for a faster recovery and the ability to leave the hospital sooner. This minimally invasive procedure is also significantly less painful, causes less scarring, reduces blood loss and in many cases, provides better clinical outcomes.