A study of 57 patients admitted to the Department of Emergency Surgery at the Ospedale Maggiore in Milan between 1980 and 1992 following the recent ingestion of a caustic substance is presented herein. Through this study, an aggressive diagnostic and therapeutic approach has been employed, including early surgery which plays a fundamental role in the prevention of acute hemorrhagic or perforative complications as well as in the development of scar tissue and neoplastic strictures over time. The criteria for early emergency surgery were the presence of endoscopic grade 3 and 4 lesions as well as those on the borderline between grades 2 and 3 with clinical symptoms. In 11 patients with lesions of moderate severity, the treatment of choice was medical therapy, which required subsequent surgical intervention for strictures in 5 patients. In 13 patients with severe lesions, an early surgical approach was performed with a mortality rate of 23%.
- corrosive burns
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