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Am Surg. 2008 Aug;74(8):686-7; discussion 688.

Antegrade and retrograde endoscopy for treatment of esophageal stricture.

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Division of General Surgery, Section of Surgical Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.


Total or near-total esophageal stricture results from multiple processes. Traditional treatment with wire cannulation followed by serial dilation is often contraindicated due to poor visualization and the risk of perforation. We seek to demonstrate that combined antegrade and retrograde endoscopy are useful for treatment of total or near-total esophageal strictures. The gastrostomy tube is removed and the tract dilated. A standard endoscope is passed retrograde to the stricture. An antegrade endoscope is advanced until transillumination across the stricture is visualized. A biopsy forceps or needle is used to traverse the stricture in an antegrade fashion. The tract is cannulated with a stiff wire that is then brought out through the gastrostomy site. The stricture is serially dilated. The gastrostomy tube is replaced, and a nasogastric tube is left across the stricture for 3 to 4 weeks. The endoscope is withdrawn and an 18 or 20 Fr gastrostomy tube is left in place. A total of three patients with total esophageal strictures were treated using combined antegrade and retrograde esophagoscopy. All three patients regained the ability to swallow secretions. Importantly, there were no instances of esophageal perforation. This technique has broader application, including combination with minilaparotomy for patients without retrograde access. Further research is needed to determine durability of stricture dilation.

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