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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 2006 December;19(6):451-3

language: English

Cervical esophageal perforation following laparotomy

Singhal R. 1, Syed T. 2, Mirza M. 2, Richardson M. 2, Kumar H. 2

1 University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire
2 Upper GI and Minimally Invasive Unit Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK


An 85 year old woman presented with abdominal pain and vomiting. A laparotomy was performed for an obstructing sigmoid adenocarcinoma. Postoperatively the patient developed subcutaneous emphysema, coupled with neck pain, fever and leucocytosis. Investigations revealed the presence of a cervical esophageal perforation. A cervical drainage procedure was performed and the patient was then transferred to a high dependency unit. This case emphasises the need for a high index of suspicion even in unsuspecting cases to reduce the associated high mortality and morbidity.

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