Endoscopic Vacuum Therapy to Seal Recalcitrant Esophageal Leak After Esophageal Surgery in Children

Author(s): Raja R Narayan, Megan A Foley, Garrison M Carlos, Matias Bruzoni, Gary Hartman, Monique T Barakat, Roberto Gugig

Postoperative esophageal leak is a serious adverse event that occurs in up to 20% following esophageal surgery. Increasingly, endoscopy is utilized to manage leaks refractory to surgical washout and drainage including endoscopic vacuum-assisted closure (EVAC) using negative pressure therapy to achieve source control and granulation. In this report, successful use of this endoscopic strategy to seal a persistent leak after esophageal diverticulectomy is described. A two-year-old male born with esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula underwent primary anastomosis on the first day of life. Two years later, he presented symptomatic from a diverticulum at the anastomosis and underwent diverticulectomy complicated by esophageal leak at the diverticulectomy site. Despite multiple surgical interventions to seal the leak and obtain source control, the esophageal leak persisted. A multidisciplinary team of surgeons, gastroenterologists, and radiologists determined in consensus with the family of the patient to proceed with EVAC beginning with intracavitary placement of a dressing sponge secured on a nasoesophageal tube. After six endoscopic sessions, the esophageal leak was determined to be closed on endoscopic and fluoroscopic imaging. The patient was ultimately discharged home nine days after removal of the endoscopic vacuum. The leak site remained closed on fluoroscopic esophagram studies performed 6 months later. Negative pressure therapy successfully closed a refractory esophageal leak in a child resulting from diverticulectomy. Future investigations should employ larger series to compare the efficacy, tolerance, and duration of therapy needed to close leaks from EVAC versus stenting.

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