Endoscopic dilation of benign post-esophagectomy anastomotic strictures: long-term outcomes and risk of recurrence

Authors Mead Badir, Alain Suissa, Michael Orlovsky, Yousef Abu Asbeh, Iyad Khamaysi.


Background Benign esophageal anastomotic strictures often require repeat dilation to relieve dysphagia. Little is known about the factors that affect their remediation. The purpose of this article was to retrospectively evaluate the long-term clinical results of endoscopic dilation in the treatment of benign anastomotic strictures after esophagectomy, and to identify factors associated with stricture recurrence.

Methods A single-center retrospective analysis (using electronic records) was performed on patients who underwent endoscopic dilation for esophageal anastomotic strictures. Long-term clinical effectiveness, including technical and clinical success, and complication rate were assessed. Factors independently related to recurrence were evaluated.

Results Between January 2014 and December 2017, a total of 35 patients who had benign anastomotic strictures after esophagectomy underwent 182 endoscopic dilation procedures. Technical success was 100%. Thirty-two patients (91%) had initial relief of dysphagia. The clinical success, defined as resolution of dysphagia and achieving luminal patency of 13 mm or more, was achieved in 24 patients (69%). Strictures recurred in 43% of patients, and refractory strictures were identified in 10/35 (29%). Proximal anastomosis and the presence of anastomotic foreign bodies were found to be risk factors for refractory strictures. The complication rate was low (4%) and adverse events were mild. No major complications (perforations, severe bleeding) or treatmentrelated deaths occurred in this series.

Conclusions Endoscopic dilation has a high technical and a good clinical success rate. However, anastomotic strictures are often refractory and frequently recur.

Keywords Esophagectomy, anastomotic stricture, endoscopic dilation

Ann Gastroenterol 2021; 34 (3): 337-343

Original Articles