BioScience Trends. 2016;10(2):120-124. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2016.01009)

The surgical management of spontaneous esophageal perforation (Boerhaave's syndrome) ‒ 20 years of experience.

Pezzetta E, Kokudo T, Uldry E, Yamaguchi T, Kudo H, Ris HB, Christodoulou M, Vuilleumier H, Halkic N


Spontaneous esophageal perforation (Boerhaave's syndrome) is an uncommon and challenging condition with significant morbidity and mortality. Surgical treatment is indicated in the large majority of cases and different procedures have been described in this respect. We present the results of a mono-institutional evaluation of the management of spontaneous esophageal perforation over a 20-year period. The charts of 25 patients with spontaneous esophageal perforation treated at the Surgical Department of the University Hospital of Lausanne were retrospectively studied. In the 25 patients, 24 patients were surgically treated and one was managed with conservative treatment. Primary buttressed esophageal repair was performed in 23 cases. Nine postoperative complications were recorded, and the overall mortality was 32%. Despite prompt treatment postoperative morbidity and mortality are still relevant. Early diagnosis and definitive surgical management are the keys for successful outcome in the management of spontaneous esophageal perforation. Primary suture with buttressing should be considered as the procedure of choice. Conservative approach may be applied in very selected cases.

KEYWORDS: Primary buttressed esophageal repair, morbidity, mortality, surgical treatment

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