eISSN: 2299-0054
ISSN: 1895-4588
Videosurgery and Other Miniinvasive Techniques
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vol. 18
General surgery
Original paper

Minimally invasive treatment of postoperative fistulas, leakages, and perforations of the upper gastrointestinal tract: a single-center observational study

Jaroslaw Cwaliński
Jacek Paszkowski
Filip Lorek
Pawel Samborski
Marcin Kucharski
Hanna Michalak
Tomasz Banasiewicz

Department of General, Endocrinological Surgery and Gastroenterological Oncology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
Videosurgery Miniinv 2023; 18 (4): 655–664
Online publish date: 2023/12/18
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Most anastomotic leaks in the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract can be treated with minimally invasive techniques dominated by endoluminal vacuum therapy (EVT) or stent implantation. Chronic leaks often require additional solutions, such as tissue adhesives or cellular growth stimulants.

To present a treatment strategy for postoperative leakage of upper GI anastomoses with noninvasive procedures.

Material and methods
A group of 19 patients treated in the period 2015–2023 with postoperative upper GI tract leakage was enrolled for endoscopic treatment. The indication for the therapy was anastomotic dehiscence not exceeding half of the circumference and the absence of severe septic complications. All patients were managed using endoscopic vacuum therapy (EVT) or a self-expanding stent while persistent fistulas were additionally treated with alternative methods.

The EVT was successfully implemented in 13 cases, but 7 patients required alternative methods to achieve definitive healing. Self-expanding stent placement was performed in 6 patients; however, in 3 cases a periprosthetic leakage occurred. In this group, two patients had the stent removed and the third one died due to septic complications. Post-treatment stenosis was identified in 5 patients after EVT that required balloon dilation with acceptable resolution in all cases.

Early detected anastomotic dehiscence limited to half of the circumference most effectively responded to the noninvasive treatment. Nutritional support as well as complementary endoscopic solutions such as tissue adhesives, growth stimulants and hemostatic clips increase the percentage of complete healing.


endoscopic vacuum therapy, noninvasive leak treatment, anastomotic dehiscence, endoscopic stent implementation

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