Esophageal emergencies: WSES guidelines

World J Emerg Surg. 2019 May 31:14:26. doi: 10.1186/s13017-019-0245-2. eCollection 2019.


The esophagus traverses three body compartments (neck, thorax, and abdomen) and is surrounded at each level by vital organs. Injuries to the esophagus may be classified as foreign body ingestion, caustic ingestion, esophageal perforation, and esophageal trauma. These lesions can be life-threatening either by digestive contamination of surrounding structures in case of esophageal wall breach or concomitant damage of surrounding organs. Early diagnosis and timely therapeutic intervention are the keys of successful management.

Keywords: Caustic ingestion; Emergency management; Esophageal perforation; Esophageal trauma; Foreign body ingestion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Caustics / adverse effects*
  • Esophageal Perforation / complications
  • Esophageal Perforation / surgery*
  • Esophagoscopy / methods
  • Esophagus / abnormalities
  • Esophagus / surgery*
  • Foreign Bodies / complications*
  • Humans
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods


  • Caustics