Esophageal salvage with removable covered self-expanding metal stents in the setting of intrathoracic esophageal leakage

Elizabeth David, Min P. Kim, Shanda H. Blackmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Background: Intrathoracic contamination from esophageal perforation, staple line dehiscence, or trauma can be a preterminal event. In our institution, covered self-expanding metal stents have been used aggressively in the management of esophageal leak, but their use remains controversial. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of esophageal salvage using stents to assist in the management of intrathoracic esophageal leakage. Methods: Over 38 months, 63 patients with esophageal or gastric leaks were evaluated for stenting as primary treatment and identified using a prospective database. Results: Fifty-six patients were managed with endoscopic stenting as primary therapy and 30 of those patients required a thoracic intervention after stenting. Seven of these patients required esophageal diversion after stent failure. Thirty-day mortality was 10% in the patients with intrathoracic contamination. Conclusions: We suggest that the use of covered self-expanding metal stents in patients with intrathoracic leak after esophageal perforation is safe and offers esophageal salvage in 77% regardless of time of presentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)796-801
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Esophageal leak
  • Perforation
  • Salvage
  • Stent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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