There are certain diseases of the esophagus that are not cancers but do require surgical attention. These diseases include achalasia, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and esophageal leiomyoma.
- A leiomyoma is a smooth muscle growth that is usually benign.
- Less than one percent can have a cancerous component.
- Leiomyomas occur most commonly in the uterus, small bowel and esophagus.
- Patients may not have any symptoms until it gets large enough to block the esophagus.
- When it is greater than 5 cm, it may cause difficulty with swallowing, regurgitation and chest pain.
- A leiomyoma is resected for symptomatic relief and to rule-out any underlying cancer within them.
- Small leiomyomas can be followed closely so rapid growth can be identified and surgery can be offered.
- Lesions greater than 5 cm are usually resected because of symptoms.
- We offer state of the art video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) to remove this lesion. Using a minimally invasive approach, four 1 inch incisions are used to allow for a camera and surgical instruments to be passed into the chest cavity. We use these instruments to remove the lesion from the wall of the esophagus.
At White Plains Hospital we have a fully staffed Thoracic Surgery Service that includes board-certified thoracic surgeons, anesthesiologists, pulmonologists, gastroenterologists and critical care intensivists. In addition, we have a staff of highly trained nurses, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, physical therapists, case managers and social workers that work in-sync with your surgeon to provide great care for you when you are recovering from your surgery.
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