There is no clear consensus concerning the best endoscopic treatment of benign refractory esophageal strictures due to caustic ingestion. Different procedures are currently used: frequent multiple dilations, retrievable self-expanding stent, nasogastric intubation and surgery. We describe a new technique to fix a suspended esophageal silicone prosthesis to the neck in benign esophageal strictures; this permits us to avoid the frequent risk of migration of the expandable metallic or plastic stents. Under general anesthesia a rigid esophagoscope was placed in the patient's hypopharynx. Using transillumination from the optical device, the patient's neck was pierced with a needle. A n.0 monofilament surgical wire was pushed into the needle, grasped by a standard foreign body forceps through the esophagoscope and pulled out of the mouth (as in percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy procedure). After tying the proximal end of the silicone prosthesis with the wire, it was placed through the strictures under endoscopic view. This procedure was successfully utilized in four patients suffering from benign refractory esophageal strictures due to caustic ingestion. The prosthesis and its suspension from the neck were well-tolerated until removal (mean duration 4 months). A postoperative transitory myositis was diagnosed in only one patient. One of the most frequent complications of esophageal prostheses in refractory esophageal strictures due to caustic ingestion is distal migration. Different solutions were proposed. For example the suspension of a wire coming from the nose and then fixed behind the ear. This solution is not considered optimal because of patient complaints and moreover the aesthetic aspect is compromised. The procedure we utilized in four patients utilized the setting of a silicone tube hanging from the neck in a way similar to that of endoscopic pharyngostomy. This solution is a valid alternative both for quality of life and for functional results.
- Caustic esophageal strictures
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