Treatment of Esophageal Perforation in a Referral Center in Taiwan
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The high mortality associated with esophageal perforation can be reduced by aggressive surgery and good critical care. We report our experience of treating esophageal perforation in a clinic in Taiwan.
The subjects were 28 patients who underwent surgery for a benign esophageal perforation.
The esophageal perforation was iatrogenic in 11 patients, spontaneous in 8, and caused by foreign body injury in 9. Most (22/28) of the patients were seen longer than 24 h after perforation, and 77% had empyema preoperatively. The perforation was located in the cervical area in 5 patients and in the thoracic esophagus in 23. We performed primary repair in 24 patients, esophagectomy in 3, and drainage in 1. Leakage occurred after primary repair in ten (41%) patients, resulting in one death, and two patients died of other diseases. Postoperative leakage prolonged the hospital stay but had no impact on mortality. Overall survival was 90%. Univariate analysis revealed that age, timing of treatment, and cause and location of the perforation influenced outcome, but multivariate analysis failed to identify a predictor of mortality.
Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial to prevent morbidity and mortality in patients with esophageal perforation. Primary repair is feasible even if the diagnosis is delayed.
Key wordsEsophageal perforation Primary repair
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