OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to review the long-term results of treating benign esophageal fistula and stenosis using self-expanding metal stents. METHODS: We treated four patients using covered mesh or coiled stents. We removed the stents electively in two patients (one endoscopically and one during planned partial esophagectomy) and unexpectedly in one patient who developed bleeding. One stent migrated and required laparotomy for removal. RESULTS: Placement of self-expanding metal stents successfully sealed the benign fistula in two patients and reestablished swallowing in two other patients with complicated achalasia. Two patients were swallowing normally on long-term follow-up, one died of the underlying disease, and one required gastrostomy. CONCLUSION: Temporary use of self-expanding metal stents as a feasible option for treating benign esophageal stenosis and fistula in patients who have failed other conventional treatments. (C) 2000 by Am. Coll. of Gastroenterology.
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