Tracheal Diseases Research Center, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NRITLD), Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran,
Lung Transplantation Research Center, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NRITLD), Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, Canada.
Background: Pharyngoesophageal strictures (PES) after corrosive injury impose a problematic condition for both physicians and patients in terms of their management and patients’ quality of life. Colopharyngoplasty is a complex procedure, which is used to restore swallowing in these severely disabled patients. We describe our experience in treating nine patients with severe PES after corrosive injuries in a referral center. Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis of our database from 2009 to 2014 showed nine patients (seven men; age range: 18 to 47 years) with severe PES who underwent colopharyngoplasty ~6 months (range: 4-10) after caustic material ingestion. All patients had a feeding jejunostomy tube before reconstruction. Esophagectomy with or without gastrectomy was performed in all patients, except for one; thereafter, an isoperistaltic segment of the left colon was pulled up, and a pharyngocolic anastomosis was performed. Eight patients had a tracheostomy created either before reconstruction due to respiratory symptoms or at the time of definitive surgery to prevent aspiration in the early post-operative period. Results: Almost all survivors had a satisfactory swallowing at the end of the follow-up (range: 4-60 months). The jejunostomy tube could be removed in all of the patients after a median of 5 months. One patient died of sepsis due to graft necrosis in the immediate post-operative period. Another patient died 5 months after the first surgery following a revision surgery for intractable dysphagia. At the end of the follow-up, only one patient tolerated tracheostomy tube decannulation. Two patients required laryngotracheal dissociation because of massive aspiration and recurrent episodes of pneumonia. Five patients still had a tracheostomy because of an severely destroyed larynx (two patients) and aspiration (three patients). Conclusion: Colopharyngoplasty is considered a complicated but trustworthy procedure to restore gastrointestinal tract continuity after severe corrosive injury. Undeniably, laryngeal involvement adversely affects the functional outcome. The post-operative course is frequently protracted, accompanied with several problems. Aspiration is nearly the most problematic event in the early post-operative period, which mandates a multidisciplinary approach to manage it.