JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

[Management of postoperative complications following esophagectomy]

D Schubert, St Dalicho, L Flohr, F Benedix, H Lippert
Der Chirurg; Zeitschrift Für Alle Gebiete der Operativen Medizen 2012, 83 (8): 712-8
22806074
Complications following esophagectomy significantly affect the outcome, including perioperative mortality, costs and survival. Pulmonary complications and anastomotic leaks still remain the most serious complications and early recognition and appropriate initial treatment are essential. Mortality associated with esophageal leaks is decreasing due in part to the increased use of computed tomography (CT) scanning and endoscopy for diagnosis and subsequent appropriate multidisciplinary therapy. In this respect, it is critically important to differentiate between leaks and conduit necrosis, and endoscopic examination is the best method for making this assessment. Endoscopic and interventional radiology techniques are being applied increasingly for detection of intrathoracic leaks but appropriate patient selection is important. Adequate external drainage of the leak and prevention of further contamination are the primary therapeutic goals. The spectrum of therapeutic options ranges from simple conservative treatment for smaller, well drained leaks, interventional placement of drains, to endoscopic intervention with closure of the fistula or placement of stents and reoperation or discontinuity resection for conduit necrosis.

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