Gastroesophageal Surgery Program

Massachusetts General Hospital's Gastroesophageal Surgery Program offers advanced surgical options to treat the complete range of gastroesophageal conditions, including gastric and esophageal cancers and benign esophageal disease.

Surgeons in the Massachusetts General Hospital Gastroesophageal Surgery Program specialize in complex surgical techniques to treat gastric and esophageal cancers and benign esophageal disease. This specialization requires rigorous advanced training and a highly focused clinical practice dedicated to gastroesophageal disease management.

Our surgeons offer new and innovative procedures, such as magnetic sphincter augmentation (LINX procedure) for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), endoscopic myotomy (POEM) for the treatment of achalasia, endoscopic approaches to Zenker’s diverticulum and minimally invasive esophagectomy for the treatment of esophageal cancer.

Multidisciplinary Gastroesophageal Care

Our surgeons work closely with physicians in the Swallowing and Heartburn Center in the Digestive Healthcare Center and the Tucker Gosnell Center for Gastrointestinal Cancers within the Mass General Cancer Center.

Members of the care team work collaboratively to provide comprehensive, personalized treatment for cancer patients and other patients with complex gastroesophageal conditions.

Conditions we Treat

Research demonstrates that high-volume surgical experience results in improved outcomes for patients. Each year, our surgeons perform high volumes of surgical procedures for conditions including:

  • Achalasia, an uncommon esophageal disorder that makes swallowing difficult, often causing weight loss and other undesirable outcomes
  • Esophageal cancer, cancer that develops in the esophagus, the muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach
  • Esophageal diverticulum, a pouch of stretched tissue that branches out from the esophagus
  • Gastric cancer, also known as stomach cancer, including hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC) syndrome
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive disorder that is caused by gastric acid flowing from the stomach into the esophagus
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), uncommon tumors of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Hiatal hernia, a condition that occurs when the upper part of the stomach pushes up into the chest through a small opening in the diaphragm
  • Paraesophageal hernia, a condition where the stomach pushes through the diaphragm alongside the esophagus to lie in the chest

Our Procedures

Our surgeons perform the full range of gastroesophageal surgical procedures, including:

  • Minimally invasive procedures, offering shorter recovery times, smaller surgical scars and preservation of the vagus nerve (a nerve that transmits messages from the brain to the stomach):
    • Magnetic sphincter augmentation, commonly known as LINX (for GERD)
    • Endoscopic myotomy, commonly known as POEM (for achalasia)
    • Endoscopic, transoral treatment of Zenker’s diverticulum (avoids traditional neck incision)
    • Minimally invasive esophagectomy (for esophageal cancer)
    • Laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery (for GERD and hiatal hernias)
    • Laparoscopic Heller myotomies (for achalasia)
    • Laparoscopic repair of hiatal and paraesophageal hernias (repair of an enlarged opening in the diaphragm)
    • Laparoscopic procedures (for cancers and GIST tumors of the esophagus, stomach and gastroesophageal junction) 
  • Complex, open surgeries:
    • D2 node dissection (provides a more complete surgical sample of the lymph nodes to ensure thorough diagnosis of gastric cancer)
    • Partial and total gastrectomy (surgical removal of part of or the entire stomach)
    • Complex repair of hiatal and paraesophageal hernias

Leaders in Gastroesophageal Surgery

Our surgeons have achieved a number of landmark milestones in treating gastroesophageal conditions. They are among the few in the country who can treat cancers of the stomach and esophagus in a completely minimally invasive manner. Our surgeons are accomplished researchers who are at the forefront of the latest surgical and medical innovations, sharing knowledge and expertise to more quickly develop procedures that can dramatically improve their patients’ quality of life.

Mass General surgeons were also among the first to perform antireflux surgery and repair hiatal hernias laparoscopically. Currently, we are employing new minimally invasive procedures to treat a number of conditions using natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery, more commonly known as NOTES. During these procedures, an endoscope is passed through a natural orifice of the body, where an internal incision is made to the stomach, bladder or colon. The technique avoids any external incisions or scars.

Easy Access for Patients and Referring Physicians

We pair patients and referring physicians with an experienced care coordinator who helps assess patient needs and coordinates all necessary appointments and tests. 

All requests will be triaged the same day, and the patient and referring physician will be called back to schedule an appointment within one business day. Patients and referring physicians may request an appointment online or call
617-724-1020 to speak with our care coordinator.

Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer is cancer that develops in the esophagus, the muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) / Heartburn

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that is caused by gastric acid flowing from the stomach into the esophagus.

Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach pushes up into the chest through a small opening in the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the stomach from the chest.

Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is cancer that starts in any part of the stomach.

The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.

Massachusetts General Hospital offers new, less invasive treatment for GERD

Massachusetts General Hospital introduces an innovative procedure for patients experiencing symptoms of GERD. A bracelet of magnetic beads can help the lower esophageal sphincter to resist gastric pressures and prevent reflux.

Frequently asked questions: LINX® system

David Rattner, MD, chief of the Division of Gastrointestinal and General Surgery at the Mass General Digestive Healthcare Center, answers frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the LINX® Reflux Management System, a new treatment option for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Three months after surgery, patient has new lease on life

The MGH was the first hospital in New England to offer a new procedure in which a flexible bracelet of magnetic titanium beads is laparoscopically implanted around the esophagus to help treat GERD.

Magnetic esophageal sphincter device benefits patients with GERD

The New England Journal of Medicine publishes the three-year results of a study of the safety and effectiveness of a new device for treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

New procedure is easy to swallow

The MGH offers its first per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) procedure, a new surgical treatment for achalasia.

Getting Back to Active: Bob’s Story

Bob Hazelton lived with chronic acid reflux for years and was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2011. After his surgical team at Massachusetts General Hospital performed a minimally invasive esophagectomy, Bob has a healthy esophagus and is getting back to his active lifestyle.

Endoscopic Mucosal Resection

Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is a specialized endoscopic technique used by gastroenterologists at the Massachusetts General Hospital Digestive Healthcare Center to diagnose and remove large areas of early gastrointestinal cancers.

Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is an FDA-approved endoscopic technique used by specialists at the Massachusetts General Hospital Barrett's Esophagus Treatment Center to treat Barrett's esophagus.

LINX® Reflux Management System

LINX® Reflux Management System is an innovative minimally invasive procedure used by Massachusetts General Hospital surgeons to treat appropriately selected patients experiencing symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). For more information, visit

Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM)

Per oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) is a minimally invasive procedure used by surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital to treat eligible patients experiencing symptoms of achalasia. For more information, visit

Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy (MIE)

Minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) is a procedure performed by Massachusetts General Hospital surgeons using small incisions to remove a diseased esophagus and reconstruct the gastrointestinal tract. For more information, visit

Gastroesophageal Surgery Program

Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street, Blake 1570
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-724-1020

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes

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