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Superior Outcomes for Esophageal Surgery

Our division has among the lowest combined in-hospital and 30-day mortality elective esophagectomy mortality of any program in the nation. The Society of Thoracic Surgery Database is a prospectively collected and externally audited database that is the most widely used and respected vehicle for evaluated thoracic surgery programs in the United States. The Society of Thoracic Surgery has ranked esophageal surgery at UH Cleveland Medical Center in the top 10 percent of all major academic hospitals in the nation for reduced mortality and morbidity. Our length of stay is consistently less than the average at large academic medical centers.

Quick Facts

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Perioperative Mortality: 0.7% UH Cleveland Medical Center vs. 3.5% Academic Hospital Benchmark
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Median Length of Stay: 7 days UH Cleveland Medical Center vs. 10 days Academic Hospital Benchmark
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Mean Length of Stay: 9.4 days UH Cleveland Medical Center vs. 14.2 days Academic Hospital Benchmark
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Risk Adjusted Combined Mortality and Major Morbidity: UH Cleveland Medical Center 35% lower than average for Academic Hospital Benchmark

Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy

Surgery is the primary curative modality in patients with resectable esophageal cancer. Conventional esophagectomy has been associated with significant morbidity and mortality. This innovative procedure utilizes 2 cm thoracoscopy and laparoscopy incisions and allows for complete en bloc resection including an extensive lymphadenectomy and reconstruction without a thoracotomy. Most patients experience less pain, fewer wound complications, less blood loss, and a quicker return to normal activity. Oncologic outcomes are similar or better to open esophagectomy. Robotic esophagectomy is also a similar minimally invasive procedure. Surgeons at UH Cleveland Medical Center are a select number of teams nationally performing minimally invasive esophagectomy and the first site in Northeast Ohio to perform this procedure.

Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR) and Endoscopic Mucosal Dissection (ESD)

University Hospitals Digestive Health Institute gastroenterologists are national leaders in surveillance of Barrett’s esophagus and endoscopic techniques such as endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) and endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD). These techniques allow for the definitive treatment of early, intramucosal, T1a esophageal cancers by endoscopic resection without the need for an esophagectomy. Early cancers can be resected and Barrett’s can be ablated with either radiofrequency or cryotherapy, and the patients are carefully followed for any recurrence of dysplasia or cancer.

Benign Esophageal and GE Junction Surgery

The UH Division of Thoracic and Esophageal Surgery has experts who treat of all facets of esophageal tumors through benign esophageal surgeries, including laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery, reoperative anti-reflux surgery, laparoscopic repair of giant paraesophageal hernia, VATS resection of leiomyoma, and novel treatments for GERD.

Barrett’s Esophagus Translational Research Network (BETRNet)

The BETRNet is an international, multi-institutional collaborative program that leads in the innovative investigation of Barrett's adenocarcinoma's biology and genetics. The organization facilitates translational research into early detection and intervention. Dr. Amitabh Chak, of UH Digestive Health Institute, recently developed an advanced balloon device currently under investigation, which allows for early diagnosis of esophageal cancer through a simple swallowing test.