May 1, 1977

Iatrogenic perforation of the esophagus

Acta chirurgica Belgica
E AnconaA Peracchia


The treatment of iatrogenic esophageal perforation is still today subject of discussion. The present work relates our experience on 16 cases seen between 1955 and 1976, and compares the results with the 1,310 collected by French and English literature. The etiology of perforation is: endoscopy (50.5%), dilatation (19.5%), foreign bodies (14%), surgery and other causes (16%). The mortality rate of cervical perforations is 14.5% (7.3% with medical treatment, 18% with drainage, 12.6% with suture). In the thoracic esophagus it is 32.5% (50% with medical treatment, 40% with drainage, 18% with suture). The data demonstrate that the best results are obtained with surgical treatment, that may be simple drainage when the perforation is cervical, but must be the suture in the thoracic esophagus. We must emphasize that the operation must be performed within 24 hours, because, in the cases operated on after 24 hours, the mortality rate is nearly double.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Endoscopy (Procedure)
Esophageal Tissue
Esophageal Diseases
Pathological Dilatation
Entire Esophagus
Benign Neoplasm of Esophagus
Thoracic Esophagus
Iatrogenic Disease

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