BACKGROUND Esophagectomy with gastric tube reconstruction and extended transhiatal gastrectomy with Roux-en-Y reconstruction are alternative procedures in current therapeutic concepts for adenocarcinoma of the esophagogastric junction (AEG). The impact of these operations on long-term health-related quality of life (HRQL) is incompletely understood. METHODS Patients with cancer-free survival of at least 24 months after esophagectomy (ESO) or extended gastrectomy (GAST) for AEG were identified from a prospectively maintained database. EORTC questionnaires were sent out to assess health-related general (QLQ-C30) and cancer-specific (OG-25) quality of life. Numeric scores were calculated for each conceptual area and compared with those of healthy reference populations. RESULTS 123 patients (ESO n = 71; GAST n = 52) completed the self-rated questionnaires. HRQL was consistently lower in surgical patients (GAST and ESO) compared with healthy reference populations. Also, there was a general trend for a better HRQL in GAST compared with ESO patients. This trend was statistically significant for physical function (p = 0.04), dyspnea (p = 0.02), and reflux (p = 0.03). Subgroup analysis revealed no significant differences between patients with or without prior neoadjuvant therapy. CONCLUSIONS After mid- and long-term follow-up, HRQL after extended gastrectomy with Roux-en-Y reconstruction is superior to that after esophagectomy and gastric tube reconstruction. Improved HRQL after gastrectomy is mainly due to less pulmonary and reflux-related symptoms. Our findings may influence the choice of the surgical strategy for patients with AEG.