Tracheoesophageal fistula - a complication of prolonged tracheal intubation

Abstract

Tracheoesophageal fistula most commonly occurs as a complication of prolonged tracheal intubation. The incidence decreased after the use of low pressure and high volume endotracheal cuffs, but the intensive care units continue to provide such cases. The abnormal tracheoesophageal communication causes pulmonary contamination (with severe suppuration) and impossibility to feed the patient. The prognosis is reserved, because most patients are debilitated and ventilator dependent, with severe neurological and cardiovascular diseases. The therapeutic options are elected based on respiratory, neurological and nutritional status. The aim of conservative treatment is to stop the contamination (drainage gastrostomy, feeding jejunostomy) and to treat the pulmonary infection and biological deficits. Endoscopic therapies can be tried in cases with surgical contraindication. Operation is addressed to selected cases and consists in the dissolution of the fistula, esophageal suture with or without segmental tracheal resection associated. Esophageal diversion is rarely required. The correct indication and timing of surgery, proper surgical technique and postoperative care are prerequisites for adequate results.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Paraschiv2014TracheoesophagealF, title={Tracheoesophageal fistula - a complication of prolonged tracheal intubation}, author={Mariana Paraschiv}, booktitle={Journal of medicine and life}, year={2014} }