Jefferson University Hospitals

Robotic Esophageal Mobilization Surgery

While esophageal cancer is rare in the United States, the traditional surgical treatment has been an esophagectomy, which is an open surgery 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.

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

What Does Robotic Esophageal Mobilization Surgery Involve?

During the procedure in our state-of-the-art operating suites, robotic arms with tiny cameras are placed in your right chest. This is done from a remote console used by our surgeons. Once that is complete, your surgeon utilizes the articulated robotics instruments to guide the arms to the esophagus for its removal. We are then able to 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 2 hours to perform, allowing for a faster recovery and to leave the Hospital sooner. Utilizing this technology not only reduces healing time and hospital stay, it also is significantly less painful, causes less scarring, reduces blood loss and in many cases, provides better clinical outcomes.