Purpose Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is an extremely fatal and relatively rare gastrointestinal system malignancy. This study aimed to investigate the factors affecting survival in operated patients with ESCC. Materials and Methods We included 110 patients (38 [34.5%] male; 72 [65.5%] female) aged >= 18 (median age, 54 [26-77]) years who were operated without any signs of metastases and followed up at Van Yuzuncu Yil University Dursun Odabasi Medical Center between 2004 and 2019. Results Initially, 39 (35.5%) patients were clinical lymph node-positive and 71 (64.5%) patients were negative. Thirty-five (31.8%) patients underwent surgery after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT), and 75 (%68.2) patients underwent direct surgery without nCRT. Five-year overall survival (OS) was 84.4% and 59.2% in patients who underwent surgery after nCRT and in those who underwent direct surgery, respectively. Median OS was significantly longer in patients who underwent surgery after nCRT (p = 0.003). There was a statistically significant difference in OS in patients who underwent surgery after nCRT depending on tumor response (p = 0.04). In multivariate analysis, advanced pathologic stage (p = 0.002) adversely affected survival, whereas nCRT administration (p = 0.031) positively affected OS. Conclusion We suggest that nCRT should be administrated before surgery, especially in locally advanced ESCCs. In addition, we believe that nCRT response can be used as a good parameter for survival. These results, however, should be supported by prospective studies.