Between 1980 and 1988, 98 patients with adenocarcinoma of the esophagogastric junction were seen at the University of Western Ontario. Eighty-two patients underwent resection of the celiac lymph nodes, lesser curve and cardia of the stomach, and thoracic esophagus through abdominal and neck incisions avoiding thoracotomy. The esophagus was replaced by a stomach tube in 80 patients or by a colon tube in two patients. Two of 82 patients died while hospitalized. Early postoperative morbidity included anastomotic leaks that closed spontaneously (13), transient hoarseness (10), myocardial infarction (2), pulmonary embolus (6), and atelectasis or pneumonia (13). Late postoperative complications included delayed gastric emptying (4), symptomatic reflux (4), diarrhea (10), and anastomotic strictures (17). The 2-year survival of 30% was significantly affected by the stage of disease (p = 0.003), depth of tumor penetration (p = 0.02), lymph node metastasis (p = 0.001), tumor differentiation (p = 0.008), and tumor DNA ploidy (p = 0.02). Local recurrences appeared initially in 20 patients: anastomotic (3), peritoneal (14), mediastinal (3); distant metastasis occurred in 27 patients: bone (15), liver (5), brain (2), and multiple organs (5). Swallowing was restored and maintained in 75 patients. Esophagogastrectomy without thoracotomy provides a safe, effective method of restoring swallowing in patients with adenocarcinoma of the esophagogastric junction. This technique provides acceptable survival and local recurrence rates.