Transhiatal oesophagectomy

Transhiatal oesophagectomy is a type of oesophagectomy, a surgery that removes the distal oesophagus, usually for oesophageal carcinoma.

Removal of the oesophagus can be performed through the chest wall (a transthoracic oesophagectomy), but the thoracotomy is a major component of patient pain and complication. A transhiatal approach, avoiding the thoracotomy, is associated with fewer pulmonary complications.

The transhiatal approach also substitutes a thoracic-level anastomosis with a cervical-level anastomosis.


  • suparumbilical incision and distal oesophageal dissection
  • incision parallel to the left sternocleidomastoid for dissection of the proximal oesophagus
  • careful blunt dissection of the oesophagus in the mediastinum through the hiatus
  • cervical oesophagus is transected
  • partial gastrectomy
  • oesophagus removed
  • gastric pull up or gastric conduit (e.g. colon, jejunum) formed
  • anastomotic leak at the cervical anastomosis
  • anastomotic stricture
  • recurrent laryngeal nerve injury

Differential diagnosis

The imaging differential diagnosis includes

Share article

Article information

rID: 43385
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Transhiatal esophagectomy
  • Transhiatal oesophagectomies

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.

Alert accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.