ABSTRACT: Tracheal laceration is a rare but life-threatening complication of esophagectomy. It is seen both with transhiatal and transthoracic esophagectomy.
Three hundred eighty-two esophagectomies were performed from 1998 to 2008. The medical records of five patients with laceration of trachea during esophagectomy managed at a tertiary care center were reviewed retrospectively.
There were three males and two females with age range 18-62 years. The overall incidence of tracheal laceration was 1.31%. Four lacerations (1.30%) occurred during transhiatal and one (1.35%) during transthoracic resection of esophagus. Tracheal laceration was detected intraoperatively in all. Laceration was long (>3 cm) in three patients and short (<2 cm) in two. Patients with long laceration required direct suturing, while those with short laceration could be managed with gastric reinforcement. No patient required additional thoracotomy to access the lesion. Two patients had pneumonia, one had recurrent nerve palsy, while another developed anastomotic disruption. No patient died.
Laceration of trachea is a potentially morbid complication of esophagectomy. Management should be individualized based on the extent and type of laceration. The surgical strategy depends upon the index procedure. The present series describes successful management of patients with tracheal injury associated with esophagectomy.
Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 11/2008; 13(3):438-41. · 2.83 Impact Factor