Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 777–781 | Cite as

Management of Esophageal Perforation and Anastomotic Leak by Transluminal Drainage

  • Robert N. Williams
  • Andrew W. Hall
  • Christopher D. Sutton
  • Sukhbir S. Ubhi
  • David J. BowreyEmail author
Original Article



The management of esophageal perforations and leaks remains a challenge. Although there are broad management principles, each situation may require a different surgical approach. The aim of this report was to describe the management of these esophageal crises by transluminal drainage via a transabdominal approach.


Between 2005 and 2009, patients with anastomotic or gastric staple line leak (n = 4) or esophageal perforation (n = 2) underwent transabdominal surgery and transluminal drainage. This simple technique has, to the best of our knowledge, not been previously reported.


All six patients survived. The median intensive care unit and hospital stays were 12 days (range 0–32) and 63 days (range 32–99), respectively. At a median follow-up time of 25 months (range 15–60), five of the six patients remain alive and well. One patient with node positive esophageal carcinoma has died from relapsed disease.


Transabdominal transluminal drainage should be added to the list of potential techniques that can be employed in management of esophageal leaks and perforations. It is a valuable adjunct to the armamentarium of the esophageal surgeon for dealing with these challenging situations.


Anastomosis Surgical Drainage Esophageal perforation Esophagectomy Postoperative complications 


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Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert N. Williams
    • 1
  • Andrew W. Hall
    • 1
  • Christopher D. Sutton
    • 1
  • Sukhbir S. Ubhi
    • 1
  • David J. Bowrey
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity Hospitals of Leicester NHS TrustLeicesterUK

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