Postintubation Tracheoesophageal Fistula - Diagnosis Treatment and PrognosisCiprian Bolca, Valerian Păvăloiu, Georgiana Fotache, Mihai Dumitrescu, Andrei Bobocea, Mihai Alexe, Genoveva Cadar, Radu Stoica, Cristian Paleru, Ioan Cordoş
Original article, no. 6, 2017
Article DOI: 10.21614/chirurgia.112.6.696
Introduction: Postintubation tracheoesophageal fistula is a severe complication occurring under certain conditions in patients that require prolonged mechanical ventilation. Material and methods: This article focuses on a sample of 11 patients with postintubation tracheoesophageal fistula, operated in our department between 2005 and 2015. The anterior approach with tracheal resection was performed in 10 of these patients, while an atypical surgical technique was preferred in a case involving a large-sized fistula. Three of these patients were subject to surgery while still on the ventilator, in order to help weaning them from mechanical ventilation. Two patients were operated following a relapse of the fistula, after attempts of closing it in other surgical units. Results: Two patients (of those who were still on mechanical ventilation) died from intubation-related complications that persisted after tracheal resection (anastomotic dehiscence with mediastinitis and tracheoarterial fistula in the brachiocephalic arterial trunk). The nine remaining patients improved, with their airways restored and having regained normal deglutition. Conclusions: The surgical approach of this pathology is successful in surgical units that are specialised in tracheal and oesophageal surgery. Adequately timing the surgery is crucial for a good outcome.
Keywords: tracheoesophageal fistula, tracheal stenosis, tracheal resection