Characteristics of 10-year survival after esophagectomy for carcinoma were studied retrospectively in 161 patients who underwent curative operation between 1973 and 1984. Of the 161 patients, 44 (27.3%) survived for 10 years after operation (right transthoracic approach with cervical anastomosis in 36 patients and left thoracoabdominal approach with jejunoesophagostomy in 8 patients). Females survived significantly longer than males; 10-year survival was observed in 10 (50%) of 20 females and 34 (24.1%) of 141 males. TNM factors were significantly linked to the 10-year survival for 25 patients (56.8%) whose tumors invaded the adventitia and 20 patients (45.5%) who had lymph node metastases, where the total number of involved nodes was less than eight. A questionnaire mailed 10 years after operation revealed that about one-fifth of the 10-year survivors could not go up one flight of stairs without taking a rest, and that the daily activity significantly deteriorated if the patient's age at the time of surgery was more than 66 years. One-third of the 10-year survivors were not satisfied with the daily quantity of food intake, resulting in no gain of body weight after discharge from the hospital. This complaint was significantly correlated with either weekly reflux or heartburn, resulting in the increasing number of nonmalignancy deaths. Of 13 ten-year survivors who were alive at 10 years but died after that, 11 (84.6%) died of pneumonia or malnutrition. Duodenogastroesophageal reflux may eventually cause nonmalignancy death 10 years after esophagectomy for carcinoma.