Clinical Impact of Intrathoracic Herniation of Gastric Tube Pull-Up via the Retrosternal Route following Esophagectomy

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Abstract

Background: Intrathoracic herniation of gastric tube (IHGT) pull-up via the retrosternal route is a rare complication following esophagectomy, which is caused due to an injury in the parietal pleura during a blunt dissection of the retrosternal space. However, little is known regarding the clinical impact of IHGT pull-up via the retrosternal route. Patients and Methods: Clinical data of 231 patients receiving gastric tube reconstruction via the retrosternal route following esophagectomy were collected from medical charts. Results: Of the 231 patients, 19 (8%) developed IHGT. Vocal cord palsy, particularly with delayed onset, developed at a significantly high frequency in the group of patients with IHGT. There were no significant differences in the frequency of other surgical complications. Conclusion: This is the first report to examine the clinical impact of IHGT pull-up via the retrosternal route. Vocal cord palsy, particularly with delayed onset, developed in the group of patients with IHGT. Therefore, when reconstruction is performed via the retrosternal route, it is very important that blunt and blind dissection of the retrosternal space be performed with extreme care to prevent pleural injury.

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