Owing to its nature and position, the surgery of the esophagus is limited. In many conditions all treatment is simply palliative. The distress caused by interference with the functions of the esophagus, however, is so great that palliative measures are worth while and we should welcome any increase in their efficiency. Until recently the diagnosis of diseases of the esophagus has been made from the patient's history and the general symptoms, supplemented by the findings obtained from passing bougies. The treatment has been along restricted lines, and consisted of the use of bougies, with an occasional operation through the front or the side of the neck on the only accessible part of the esophagus, the upper half. Since the introduction of light-bearing tubes the diagnosis of diseases of the esophagus is no longer made by inference, but by sight and the removal of suspected tissue for the microscope.