Oesophageal cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Various surgical procedures are performed for oesophageal malignancies. The advancement in surgical technique as well as post-surgical care has significantly reduced the complication rate. However, various complications may still occur either immediately (infection, aspiration, anastomotic leak, ischaemic necrosis, fistulae, chylothorax) or late after surgery (strictures, tumour recurrence, fistulae, delayed emptying). The palliative treatment options of radiotherapy and stent placement may also be accompanied by complications, such as radiation necrosis, stricture, and stent ingrowth by the tumour. This review presents the expected post-surgical appearance as well as various complications after surgical and non-surgical treatments of oesophageal cancer. © 2014 The Royal College of Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.