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Helv Chir Acta. 1993 Sep;60(1-2):11-5.

[The value of conservative therapy, surgical treatment and interventional radiology in perforations and ruptures of the esophagus].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Klinik für Viszerale und Transplantationschirurgie, Inselspital Bern.


We have reviewed all the records of 23 patients hospitalized in our institution from January 1981 till December 1991 and presenting a confirmed diagnosis of esophageal perforation. We have studied the aetiology, the localization, morbidity and mortality and we discuss the therapeutic management. 9 patients presented a cervical perforation, 13 patients a thoracic perforation and 1 patient an abdominal perforation. Among the patients with cervical perforation 2 patients had a local revision with drainage, 3 patients a primary suture and 4 patients were treated conservatively. No complication was found in this group. The patients with thoracic perforation have been treated as follow: 3 conservatively, 8 with thoracotomy, primary suture +/- patch, drainage, 2 patients with thoracotomy and drainage alone. All complications happened in this group: 2 gastro-intestinal bleeding, 2 ARDS, 3 mediastinitis, 1 pneumonia. 2 patients in a very poor general condition died, one with a metastatic breast carcinoma, the other after a CVI with a massive gastro-intestinal bleeding. The cervical perforations have an excellent prognosis and can be treated conservatively if they are asymptomatic and do not display a pleural lesion. The thoracic perforations can be treated surgically if they are diagnosed early before septic complications. If not, they will be better treated conservatively with drainage. The intraabdominal perforations have to be treated as every intraabdominal perforation. In this case, we perform a primary suture completed with fundoplication.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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