DOS and DON’TS before Esophageal Cancer Surgery:

    1. More nutrition is better to have a better physical state for surgery

    You can eat high protein, vitamin rich, and less residue food to improve nutritional status.

    2. Stop smoking and drinking

    Stopping smoking can reduce respiratory secretions and the risk of postoperative pulmonary complications. Strictly speaking, you must stop smoking for at least two weeks before surgery. Patients who do not strictly stop smoking have a 3-5 times higher risk of postoperative pulmonary complications than others. Severe lung infection and asphyxia can result in death, therefore strict implementation from the patient and the cooperation of their family is necessary.

    Stopping drinking alcohol can reduce cardiovascular complications.

    3. Practice of using the bedpan

    Patients should expect to have catheters in the body for one week after the operation, thus, it is highly likely that the patients need to use a bedpan in bed.

    4. Perform lung exercises

    In order to have better lung functionality before surgery, it is recommended to perform lung exercises. In fact, the evaluation of lung functionality is very important for the selection of surgical procedure types. Objectively speaking, patients with better preoperative pulmonary functionality have a stronger ability to recover and avoid surgical complications than others. Some pre-operative lung exercises, including taking deep breaths, stair climbing, balloon blowing, etc. are recommended

    5. Cough & Expectoration.

    Many patients do not want to cough after operation due to different reasons. Coughing is the method and expectoration is the purpose. This is the difficulty of postoperative management of our thoracic surgeons. If the patient does not expectorate, then the sputum will be infected in the lung, and medicine does not help either. Therefore, it is crucial to learn to cough and expectorate.

    6. Skin preparation, blood matching, and other preparations

    Skin preparation, blood matching, and other preparations are need to be made one day before operation. For local patients in Shanghai who are 60 years old or younger, the doctor will advise for the patient or family members to go to the local blood station according to their registered permanent residence. Payment of a deposit for blood preparation will be required there. Furthermore, patients need to be prepared for personal hygiene.

    7. Psychological preparation

    Psychological preparation must be done before surgery and the patients are asked to actively cooperate with doctors for treatment. Building the determination to fight the disease is the key. Remember to relax the night before surgery to ensure a quality sleep.

    8. Preoperative consultation.
    Patients tend to avoid it, because consultations often are aboutmany complications and risks. Some patients could become anxious after listening, which affects their mood. The surgery for esophageal cancer needs to remove the tumor and reconstruct the digestive tract, so the postoperative recovery is a long process. Patients and their families should be psychologically prepared. There will be many uncomfortable symptoms during recovery, but it is expected that patients can adapt to these.


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