Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Thorac Surg. 2013 Jan;95(1):292-8. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.09.048. Epub 2012 Nov 28.

Routine endoscopy to detect anastomotic leakage after esophagectomy.

Author information

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Liverpool, United Kingdom.



This study evaluated the safety and efficacy of endoscopy in diagnosing anastomotic leaks after esophagectomy.


One hundred consecutive postesophagectomy patients, all having reconstruction using the stomach, underwent endoscopy in the first week after operation. The anastomosis and gastric mucosa were examined for evidence of ischemia, necrosis, and leak.


There was no evidence that the procedure caused damage to the anastomosis or gastric conduit. The results of 79 examinations were normal, 15 showed gastric ischemia, 2 showed a leak, and 4 showed ischemia plus leakage. The 15 patients with ischemia alone were monitored with a repeat endoscopy after a further week: a late leak developed in 1 patient that was diagnosed at the second examination. No further leaks developed subsequently, making endoscopy 100% accurate in the diagnosis of leaks after esophagectomy.


Esophagoscopy within 1 week of esophagectomy is a safe and highly accurate method of diagnosing leaks and provides unique information on the condition of the stomach. We believe it allows a more targeted approach to patient care in the context of anastomotic healing and in the treatment of leaks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center