Benedetto J, Cohen L, Abraham M. Transhiatal blunt esophagectomy for carcinoma of the esophagus. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1990;90(1):54. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.19220.127.116.11.
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Transhiatal blunt esophagectomy has been reported as a safe and effective procedure for the palliation of carcinoma of the esophagus. Avoidance of a thoracotomy eliminates the morbidity associated with this procedure, and creation of a cervical esophagogastric anastomosis avoids the catastrophic sequelae of an intrathoracic anastomotic leak. Moreover, use of the procedure for palliation does not preclude excellent 1-year survival rates. We report early results in five consecutive patients with esophageal carcinoma who underwent transhiatal blunt esophagectomy. Five patients had 22 complications, including one with a fascial dehiscence, pyloroplasty leak, and localized mediastinal abscess requiring a second laparotomy. One patient died in the hospital postoperatively of massive aspiration pneumonitis. Our results compare favorably with those reported in the literature. We believe that transhiatal blunt esophagectomy avoids the morbidity and mortality of a thoracotomy and an intrathoracic anastomosis, yet remains a major gastrointestinal operative procedure with all of its attendant risks.
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