Surgical treatment of esophageal leiomyoma: an analysis of our experience

Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2006 May;98(5):350-8. doi: 10.4321/s1130-01082006000500005.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction: leiomyoma is the most common benign esophageal neoplasm. Surgical treatment (enucleation) has traditionally been the therapy of choice. The advent of minimally invasive techniques has produced an increase in endoscopic approaches to the detriment of open surgery.

Objective: the aim of this study was to compare the results obtained with open surgery and with laparoscopic surgery in this kind of pathology.

Material and methods: we performed a retrospective study of all leiomyomas operated for in our center between 1986 and 2004, and obtained 9 cases of esophageal leiomyoma. Four were women and five men, between the ages of 40 and 70, with a mean age of 53.5 years. The most frequent symptoms were heartburn (5 cases), dysphagia (3 cases), and retrosternal pain (3 cases). Surgery was in all the cases an enucleation. An open approach was performed in 5 cases (3 thoracotomies and 2 laparotomies), and an endoscopic approach in 4 (2 thoracoscopies and 2 laparoscopies).

Results: the mean postoperative hospital stay was 5.12 days (range 2-8 days). This was shorter for endoscopic approaches versus open surgery (3.25 vs. 7 days). There was no case of esophageal mucosal perforation or reconversion. No death, intraoperative complication, or tumor relapse was described. Only 2 patients had complications: post-surgical thoracic pain, and intestinal obstruction by adhesions 8 years after surgery.

Conclusion: enucleation is an easier procedure and constitutes the therapy of choice for esophageal leiomyoma. This approach has to be laparoscopic. We think that muscle borders should be closed after enucleation, and that biopsy is not indicated preoperatively.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy
  • Leiomyoma / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reoperation / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome