Oesophageal Stricture (ES) is one of the most frequent complications of oesophageal atresia repair surgery. The treatment consists of dilatation of the stricture. Mostly more than one procedure is necessary for its correction.
Aim: Present our experience in balloon dilatation in the treatment of ES post-correction of oesophageal atresia.
Patients and methods: A retrospective study of 34 children diagnosed and treated of oesophageal atresia was done. In all cases the surgical repair included a termino-terminal oesophageal anastomosis. Prevalence of ES (requiring dilatation), number of necessary dilatations, time between the correcting atresia surgery and the first dilatation, time between the first and the last dilatation and complications were analyzed. Dilatations were done under direct radioscopic control with general anesthesia using balloons of 6 to 20 mm diameter. Afterwards esophageal lumen was checked by oral endoscopy.
Results: Thirty-four patients were studied (19 male, 16 female) with a medium weight of 2474 g (rango 1800 to 3300 g). Twenty-nine patients had a type III oesophageal atresia (Vogt classification) which was corrected in their first 24-48 hours of life, five patients had a type I oesophageal atresia and repair surgery was done with a medium age of five months. All patients received medical treatment for the gastroesophageal reflux and 11 patients needed a surgical antireflux surgery. Sixty-eight endoscopic procedures were done. Seventy-nine % of the children required some endoscopic dilatation (27 patients) and received an average of 2.5 dilatations (1 to 8 dilatations): 55.5% between 1 and 2 dilatations, 37% between 3 and 4, and 7.5% more than 5. The first dilatation took place in the average of 49.4 days post-correction surgery (15 days to 1 year). The medium time interval between the first dilatation and the last one was 131 days, although in more than 50% of the cases it did not reach 2 months. Only 2 oesophageal perforations were observed (2.3% of the dilatations), one of which had a favourable outcome with conservative management and the second one required surgery. All patients except for one are alive at this time and in more than 90% of the cases they have a complete and normal oral intake.
Conclusions: Es requiring dilatations after oesophageal atresia repair are a frequent problem, appearing generally in an early period. Balloon dilatation under radioscopic control is an efficient and safe procedure for its treatment. Usually more than 1 dilatation is needed being the time period between two dilatations small. We think that associated medical antirreflux treatment is necessary in all cases, but only in specific cases surgical management of the gastroesophageal reflux.