Although not a cancer patient, I know a few who have had the Ivor Lewis oesophagectomy and am familiar with the shark bite scar.
However, yesterday I was really surprised at how small and neat the wounds are from minimally invasive techniques now available.
I was participating as a patient at a mock exam for students who will be taking FCRS exams soon. One of my fellow patient volunteers was just 2 weeks post MIO performed by one of our upper GI surgeons at Southampton, Jim Byrne, and he looked great. From the front, the students' observations were that he'd had a fundoplication. They needed to see the small plaster on the puncture wound over his shoulder blade to realise it had actually been an oesophagectomy.
(One of Jim Byrne's colleagues, Jamie Kelly, a pioneer of the MIO at Southampton, will be talking about this at Barrett's Wessex AGM on 25th June.)