Hungarian Radiology

[Complications after subtotal extirpation of the esophagus and the radiological aspects of their treatment]

VÁGÓ Andrea, LUKOVICH Péter, FARKAS Szabolcs, KISS Katalin, KUPCSULIK Péter

JUNE 22, 2008

Hungarian Radiology - 2008;82(03-04)

[INTRODUCTION - Complications after subtotal esophageal extirpation (for eg.: insufficiency of anastomosis, stricture, etc.) and their treatment have special radiological considerations. Surgical departments and their radiologists meet early complications. But, all other radiological departments can face late complications, so the knowledge of these is important for all radiologists. PATIENT AND METHODS - 58 subtotal esophageal extirpations were performed in the last 5 years in the 1st Department of Surgery, Semmelweis University, Budapest. All postoperative radiological examinations were undertaken by the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Oncotherapy. Most plain chest X-rays and swallowing examinations were made per-os with non ionic water soluble, low osmolarity contrast media on the 7th postoperative day. Further examinations were performed only if needed clinically. RESULTS - The complications were categorized as early and late. Early complications were aspiration, anastomosis insufficiency (31% of cases). Nine cases had self-dilating stents placed because of suture insufficiency. Further complications were noted following stenting (eg.: occlusion, dislocation of stent, closure of stent because of granulation tissues). Amongst late complications, stomach dilatation caused by pylorus-spasm (1 case), stricture of anastomosis (14 cases) and ’too-long’ esophageal stump (3 cases) were seen. CONCLUSION - Conventional radiology has a major role in diagnostics and treatment of complications of esophageal extirpation. Dynamic radiological examination and team work are required between the radiologist and surgeon. Also, it is crucial to cultivate good cooperation in cases of stent implantation, as contrary to the published literature, we find it better to have stents placed under flouroscopy rather than endoscopically.]

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