Background: To investigate the efficacy of primary and rescue endoluminal vacuum (EVAC) therapy in the treatment of esophageal perforations and leaks.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of a prospectively gathered, Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved database of EVAC therapy patients at our center from July 2013 to September 2016.
Results: In all, 13 patients were treated for esophageal perforations or leaks. Etiologies included iatrogenic injury (n = 8), anastomotic leak (n = 2), Boerhaave syndrome (n = 1), and bronchoesophageal fistula (n = 2). In total, 10 patients underwent primary treatment and three were treated with rescue therapy. Mean Perforation Severity Scores (PSSs) in the primary and rescue treatment groups were 7 and 10, respectively. Average defect size was 2.4 (range: 0.5-6) cm. The rescue group had a shorter mean time to defect closure (25 vs. 33 days). In all, 12 of 13 defects healed. One death occurred following the implementation of comfort care. One therapy-specific complication occurred. Hospital length of stay (LOS) was longer in the rescue group (72 vs. 53 days); however, the intensive care unit (ICU) duration was similar between groups. Totally, 10 patients (83%) resumed an oral diet after successful defect closure.
Conclusion: Utilized as either a primary or rescue therapy, EVAC therapy appears to be beneficial in the management of esophageal perforations or leaks.
Keywords: anastomotic leak; endoluminal vacuum therapy; endosponge; esophageal perforation.