David I. Watson, Peter G. Devitt, Philip A. Game, P. Grantley Gill, Glyn Jamieson

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1 Citation (Scopus)


It is possible to achieve satisfactory palliation for most patients with malignant oesophageal obstruction by endoscopic means, surgical resection or radiotherapy. Despite these options, a small group of patients remains for whom another alternative should be considered. Fifteen patients presenting with extensive tumour, a non‐dilatable stricture, or a tracheo‐oesophageal fistula, not suitable for any of the standard methods of palliation, underwent palliative surgical bypass using stomach or colon. The hospital mortality was 33% and the median survival 6 months. Anastomotic leakage occurred in six patients and the median postoperative stay was 28 days (range 20–42 days). All patients who survived surgery, except one, achieved satisfactory palliation. The nature of these patients is such that whatever is done, mortality will almost inevitably be high. The authors believe that all patients in this series were better off than they would have been if left untreated, and oesophageal bypass should be considered for patients with distressing dysphagia due to disease not amenable to standard palliative methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-335
Number of pages3
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • surgery
  • palliation
  • oesophageal bypass
  • obstruction
  • carcinoma

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