St George Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Oesophageal Cancer: New Robotic Approach Aids Patient Recovery


Oesophageal Cancer: New Robotic Approach Aids Patient Recovery

Jan 24, 2018

Oesophageal cancer is one of the less common forms of cancer, unlike breast and prostate cancer it is not regularly promoted by the media. This type of cancer has been viewed in the past as having a very poor survival rate and surgery to remove it viewed as too extreme to contemplate in many patients. However, latest advances in medical and surgical techniques, which are now available in Sydney’s South, are assisting patients in the recovery process following surgical treatment for this disease.

According to the Cancer Council Australia, 1400 Australians are affected by this disease every year. We don’t think about the oesophagus much, but as its role is to get food from the mouth into the stomach for digestion, patients with oesophageal cancer can suffer significant problems such as malnutrition, reflux and inability to eat solids. The operation performed to treat this form of cancer is known as an oesophagectomy and involves the removal of the diseased part of the oesophagus and the upper part of the stomach.

Associate Professor Michael Talbot, performed the first Robotic Oesophagostomy in Australia this week at St George Private Hospital, Kogarah. He stated that the robotic oesophagectomy procedure offers an alternate minimally invasive option for patients which offers the same chance of cure but with far less pain and a faster recovery.

“They can avoid having a large abdominal and chest incision which is required with the traditional open procedure. The smaller incisions lead to a faster recovery, earlier commencement of diet and ultimately an earlier discharge from hospital.”

“This type of minimally invasive oesophagectomy, laparoscopic or robotic, is less commonly performed than open surgery, but trials have shown a lesser complication rate and improved cancer survival.”