Magnetic Compression Stricturoplasty For Treatment of Refractory Esophageal Strictures in Children: Technique and Lessons Learned

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Introduction. Esophageal stricture is the most common complication following repair of esophageal atresia (EA). In general, these strictures are successfully managed using endoscopic techniques including bougie and balloon dilation, stenting, and chemotherapeutic agent application. If these techniques are unsuccessful, patients require segmental esophageal resection and reanastomosis or esophageal replacement. Magnetic compression anastomosis has been described in children. Herein we report our experience with magnetic compression stricturoplasty to treat refractory strictures after EA repair. Methods. We reviewed our experience using magnets to treat refractory strictures in 2 patients. Both patients failed multiple standard interventions. Because of near complete esophageal obstruction, both patients were candidates for esophageal replacement or segmental resection/anastamosis. In both patients, we applied neodymium-iron-boron magnets using fluoroscopic and endoscopic guidance. Results. The magnets were successfully positioned in both cases. Magnets were left in place for 7 and 10 days allowing for gradual compression stricturoplasty/anastamosis. Upon removal of the magnets, recanalization was visualized endoscopically and self-expanding stents were placed. There were no leaks or significant early complications. By 31 months post–magnetic stricturoplasty, both patients achieved durable esophageal patency without dysphagia. Conclusion. Magnetic stricturoplasty was successful at establishing early patency of the esophagus in 2 patients with recalcitrant EA strictures. Fundamental knowledge of magnetism was critical in configuring magnet arrays for surgery. In both cases, early follow-up is promising. Further follow-up will define the long-term success of this technique.

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