Oesophageal Carcinoma: A comparative study of laser recanalization versus intubation in the palliation of gastro-oesophageal carcinoma
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Twenty patients with advanced stenotic carcinoma of the oesophagus and oesophagogastric junction, who were considered unsuitable for curative therapy, were treated, by comparing the efficacy of either repeated bougienage and intubation or repeated laser recanalization using the neodymium-YAG laser. Tumours started at levels from 14 to 35 cm from the incisor teeth and were from 6 to 11 cm in length; 13 tumours were squamous carcinoma and seven were adenocarcinoma. Clinical benefit was assessed by improvement in nutritional intake, period of inpatient stay, relief of symptoms, frequency of side-effects, and the survival from diagnosis. Those patients treated with the laser had improved nutritional intake, superior symptomatic relief, fewer side-effects and prolonged survival with reference to the intubation group.
Although the numbers are small, the overall results are encouraging and suggest that laser recanalization may provide an improvement on the standard methods of palliation presently available.
Key wordsGastro-oesophageal carcinoma Recanalization Neodymium-YAG laser Intubation
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