Palliative endoscopic management of obstructive esophagogastric cancer: laser or prosthesis?

Gastrointest Endosc. 1987 Oct;33(5):357-61. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5107(87)71638-1.


One hundred forty-four patients with unresectable malignant strictures of the upper digestive tract were managed by palliative endoscopic methods: 116 by intubation and 28 by YAG laser phototherapy. The success rate was 95% for intubation and 100% for laser. The morbidity rate was 13.8% for intubation (perforation 7.8%, bleeding 3.4%, and aspiration pneumonia 2.2%) and 3.6% (one perforation) for laser. The mortality rate was 4.3% for intubation and 0% for laser. Specific indications for intubation were esobronchial fistulas, extensive strictures, and very long stenotic lesions. Very high cervical strictures and nonocclusive asymmetrical tumors were better treated with laser. In select cases, combined therapy can be useful. We conclude that both methods are highly efficient in restoring patency and relieving dysphagia. Further large scale randomized trials are necessary to compare functional results and survival rate.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Female
  • Gastroscopy
  • Humans
  • Intubation / adverse effects
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Lasers / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care*
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stomach Neoplasms / therapy*