Pattern of Esophageal Injuries and Surgical Management: A Retrospective Review

  • M. Tettey
  • F. Edwin
  • E. Aniteye
  • M. Tamatey
  • K. Entsua‑Mensah
  • K.B. Gyan
  • I. Adzamli
Keywords: Colon‑flap, colopharyngoplasty, esophageal injury, pharyngoesophagoplasty


Background: The consequence of significant injury to the esophagus is devastating. The initial management when timely and appropriate is  rewarding and often prevents lethal complications. The objective of this study is to describe the etiology of esophageal injury in our institution, the management procedures and the mid‑term results.

Method: Consecutive patients diagnosed and managed for esophageal injury from January 2005 to March 2015 were retrospectively reviewed.

Results: One hundred and eleven patients were seen and treated during this period; 85 (76.6%) predominantly children were corrosive esophageal injuries who accidentally ingested caustic soda and 26 (24.4%) were traumatic esophageal injuries. Patients with corrosive esophageal injuries were predominantly male (2:1), mean age 12.8 ± 14.2 years (2–58 years) and predominantly children (53% ≤5 years; 18.8% ≥ 18 years). Patients with non‑corrosive esophageal injury were also predominantly male (4:1) with a mean age of 34.4 ± 20.1 years (1–73 years). The treatment procedures for corrosive esophageal injuries included esophagocoloplasty 64 (75.3%), colopharyngoplasty 10 (11.8%), colon‑flap augmentation  pharyngo‑esophagoplasty 4 (4.7%), colopharyngoplasty with tracheostomy 4 (4.7%) and esophagoscopy and dilatation 3 (3.5%). Mortality was 5.9% and 5 patients were lost to follow‑up. In patients with noncorrosive esophageal injury, esophageal perforation from instrumentation accounted for 14 (53.9%), foreign body impaction 11 (42.3%) and spontaneous perforation 1 (3.8%) making up the rest. Management of these patients included
esophagotomy and removal of foreign body 7 (26.9%), esophagectomy, cervical esophagostomy and feeding gastrostomy 10 (38.6%), primary repair 7 (26.9%), Ivor Lewis procedure 1 (3.8%) and emergency esophagectomy with colon replacement 1 (3.8%). Mortality in this group of patients was 7.7% and 4 patients were lost to follow‑up.

Conclusion: Corrosive esophageal injuries were the most frequent form of esophageal injury at our center due to unrestricted access to corrosive substances. Generally, appropriate surgical intervention in patients with esophageal injury based on individualization of care yields excellent early  and  mid‑term results.

Keywords: Colon‑flap, colopharyngoplasty, esophageal injury, pharyngoesophagoplasty


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eISSN: 1119-3077