Surgical procedures have been employed for the relief of several pathologic conditions in the esophagus, the most common being the impaction of foreign bodies, cardiospasm, benign cicatricial stricture, carcinoma and diverticula. Impacted foreign bodies are now much less commonly dealt with by surgical means because of the easier and less dangerous method, in the hands of experts, of extraction through the esophagoscope, while surgical procedures have been almost eliminated from the treatment for cardiospasm. In this article the last three conditions, essentially, are considered.
Until within the past fifty years the esophagus received scant attention from the surgeon in spite of the well recognized pathologic conditions for which, theoretically, surgical procedures might well have been indicated. This is all the more striking when one remembers that the ancient Hindoos operated on the bladder for stone, and that Herophilus of the Alexandrian School used the knife boldly on such internal organs