Supercharged Jejunal Interposition: A Reliable Esophageal Replacement in Pediatric Patients

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2019 Jun;143(6):1266e-1276e. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000005649.


Background: There is no consensus for esophageal reconstruction in the pediatric population. Long defects are commonly repaired with gastric pull-up or colonic interposition; however, jejunal interposition offers several potential advantages in children. One historical concern with jejunal interposition has been the risk of flap infarction following transposition. The use of neck and intrathoracic vessels to "supercharge" the jejunum has been reported in adults. This study reports outcomes of supercharged jejunal interposition in pediatric and young adult patients with long esophageal defects.

Methods: The authors reviewed the medical records of patients who underwent supercharged jejunal interposition for esophageal reconstruction at their institution from 2013 to 2017. The authors collected data pertaining to patient characteristics, operative technique, and postoperative outcomes.

Results: Twenty patients, 10 female and 10 male, aged 1.4 to 23.8 years, underwent esophageal reconstruction with supercharged jejunal interposition and were followed for a median of 1.4 years. Seventeen patients had a primary diagnosis of long-gap esophageal atresia, and three required reconstruction following caustic ingestion. Eighty percent of patients had undergone prior attempts at surgical reconstruction. Postoperatively, all conduits demonstrated coordinated peristalsis, and no flap losses were noted. Major complications occurred in seven patients, stricture dilation was performed in four patients, and there was no mortality.

Conclusions: Jejunal interposition with supercharging can be safely performed for management of long esophageal gaps in the pediatric setting; it is useful where the stomach or colon has been used previously or is unavailable. Long-term outcome studies are required to determine whether jejunal interposition provides a more durable and safe conduit than gastric pull-up or colonic interposition over time.

Clinical question/level of evidence: Therapeutic, IV.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Burns, Chemical / surgery*
  • Caustics / poisoning*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Esophageal Atresia / surgery*
  • Esophagus / injuries
  • Esophagus / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Jejunum / transplantation*
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Caustics