Esophageal replacement with jejunum in children. An 18 to 33 year follow-up

W. S. Ring, R. L. Varco, P. R. L'Heureux, J. E. Foker

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122 Scopus citations


Since 1947 a total of 32 staged jejunal interpositions have been performed in children for total esophageal replacement. There have been no failures of the jejunum to reach the neck, no loss of graft, and no death. The first 16 of these 32 children have not reached adulthood and form the basis for this report on the late functional results of staged jejunal interposition. Among these 16 patients there occurred four cervical fistulas which healed without sequelae (25%), one cervical stricture which necessitated dilatation but not revision (6%), one early cervical revision for necrosis of the distal tip of the graft (6%), and no complications related to the distal anastomosis. Long-term follow-up (range 18 to 33 years; mean 27 years) was obtained in 100% (16/16) of patients. A barium swallow was obtained in 81% (13/16) at a mean of 25 years following initial reconstruction (range 14 to 33 years). The fact that all patients could eat a regular diet at normal speeds indicates satisfactory long-term function. Two patients (13%) reported mild cervical dysphasia. A barium swallow in one of these patients revealed no abnormalities. The other was found to have an apparent esophageal diverticulum which resulted because the jejunum was end-to-side to the esophagus. This was recently corrected 27 years after the initial reconstruction and represented the only late complication of the procedure. There were no late structures or peptic ulcerations. Mortility of the jejunal limb was normal in 12 of the 13 patients studied. These results demonstrate that staged jejunal interposition can be accomplished reliably and safely in children with excellent long-term functional results and a minimum of late complications. The jejunum should be considered as an alternative to colon and gastric tubes for total esophageal replacement in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)918-927
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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