Minimally Invasive Management of Postoperative Esophagojejunal Anastomotic Leak

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Purpose:Postoperative esophagojejunal fistula induces morbidity and mortality after total gastrectomy and affects the long-term survival rate.Methods:Between 2003 and 2011, 38 patients underwent laparoscopic total gastrectomy and 2 developed an esophagojejunal fistula.Results:The diagnosis was established by a computed tomography scan with contrast ingestion. The absence of complete dehiscence and the vitality of the alimentary loop were checked during laparoscopic exploration, associated with effective drainage. During the endoscopy, dehiscence was assessed and a covered stent and nasojejunal tube were inserted for enteral feeding. The leaks healed progressively, oral feeding was resumed and the drains removed within 3 weeks. The stent was removed 6 weeks. Three months later, the patients were able to eat without dysphagia.Conclusions:Early diagnosis allows successful conservative management. The objectives are effective drainage, covering by an endoscopic stent and renutrition. Management by a multidisciplinary team is essential.

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