Our team includes experts in the following conditions, among others:
- Motility disorders
- Gastro-esophageal reflux
- Para-esophageal (hiatal) hernia
- Esophageal diverticulum
- Re-operative surgery
- Tracheo-esophageal fistula
- Rare esophageal diseases
- Esophageal cancer
Meet the Team
Members of our Northwestern Medicine Esophageal and Foregut Surgery Program team have made fundamental discoveries to positively impact the care of patients with esophageal diseases.
Multidisciplinary Team Approach
Our multidisciplinary team is committed to ensuring you receive coordinated and comprehensive care tailored to your individual needs. Your personal care team of esophageal disease specialists will work with you and your referring physician to establish a comprehensive treatment plan. Your team will include:
- Esophagologists: Esophagologists are gastroenterologists (GI physicians) who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that impact swallowing. Your esophagologist will perform a thorough exam, review your past medical history and determine what testing is needed to better understand your swallowing. They will work with our surgeons to determine if surgery is the best option for treatment. In addition, they will help manage your condition before and after surgery.
- Interventional gastroenterologists: These physicians perform minimally invasive, endoscopic procedures to diagnose and treat conditions of the esophagus.
- Esophageal surgeons: Esophageal surgeons specialize in the surgical treatment of cancer and functional esophageal diseases. This is the surgeon who will perform your surgery, if indicated. They will explain the procedure and risks associated with the surgery and will work collaboratively with your other physicians to develop your treatment plan.
- Medical oncologists (for patients with cancer): Medical oncologists coordinate systemic chemotherapy for cancer treatment.
- Radiation oncologists (for patients with cancer): Radiation therapy may be indicated for patients with esophageal cancer. If you need radiation therapy, your radiation oncologist will tailor a treatment plan to you and work with your medical oncologist and surgeon to provide your care.
- Dietitians: Your dietitian will manage your nutrition throughout your care to support your overall health. They will also help you with any special dietary needs to manage co-existing medical conditions.
- Physical therapists: Your physical therapist will assess your individual needs and develop a tailored exercise program that allows you to build strength and endurance so you are in the best condition possible before and after surgery.
- Referring physicians: Your surgical team will work closely with your referring physician(s) to provide ongoing care for you after surgery. Your primary care physician will play a vital role for your routine care after surgery.
- Social workers: Your social worker acts as an advocate for your psychosocial needs.
- Patient liaison: Your patient liaison will coordinate and manage your referral to the Northwestern Medicine Esophageal and Foregut Surgery Program. They will obtain necessary medical records, coordinate care and obtain financial clearance prior to your evaluation.
Esophagectomy is an operation performed by a thoracic surgeon for the treatment of esophageal cancer, injury to the esophagus or certain swallowing disorders. The diseased section of the esophagus is removed and replaced with a section of stomach, allowing the patient to swallow normally.
At Northwestern Medicine, we routinely perform this operation using both minimally invasive and conventional approaches to customize the best approach for the individual patient which results in the best outcomes, fewer complications and a faster recovery.
We also offer the following procedures.
- Anti-Reflux Surgery
- Belsey Fundoplication
- Endoscopic Surgery
- Esophageal Diverticulum Surgery
- Heller Myotomy
- Hiatal Hernia Repair Including Reoperation for Recurrent Hiatal Hernia
- Minimally Invasive Surgical Options
- Surgery for Motility Disorders
- Surgical Resection
- Zenkers Diverticulum Surgery