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Cir Cir. 2011 Nov-Dec;79(6):564-9.

Laparoscopic enucleation of an esophageal leiomyoma.

[Article in English, Spanish]

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Servicio de Cirugía General, Departamento de Cirugía, Hospital Metropolitano, Quito, Ecuador.



Leiomyoma is the most common benign esophageal tumor that originates in the muscular layer, with the most common site located in the distal third of the esophagus. Its growth causes symptoms due to partial obstruction of the esophageal lumen, leading to the diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Today, due to modern minimally invasive surgical techniques, complete removal of these tumors can be accomplished with minimal morbidity and excellent results.


We report the case of a 49-year-old female with a history of dysphagia, epigastric pain, and halitosis. She was diagnosed with a benign tumor originating from the muscular layer of the distal esophagus. Multiple biopsies had previously been taken, without histological confirmation. The patient underwent surgery where complete tumor enucleation was done laparoscopically.


Preoperative diagnosis of these tumors should be based on clinical history and studies such as esophagoscopy and endoscopic ultrasound. Laparoscopic enucleation is the treatment of choice for leiomyomas of the esophagogastric junction. Biopsy specimens should be avoided because histology is not always possible. Furthermore, they are related to rupture of the esophageal mucosa during surgical treatment. After enucleation in selected patients, anti-reflux procedure should be carried out in order to protect the area of surgical resection and prevent complications from weakening the lower esophageal sphincter, as well as to resolve reflux symptoms.

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