Staged repair of cervical tracheoesophageal fistulae

Christopher M. Shaari, Hugh F. Biller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Acquired, nonmalignant tracheoesophageal (TE) fistulae are most often iatrogenic or trauma induced. When a cervical TE fistula is complicated by tracheal stenosis or malacia, a single-stage repair of the fistula and tracheal defect is usually advocated. Complications of this single-stage repair, which occur in 25% to 50% of patients, are secondary to either excess tension at the tracheal anastomosis or the presence of inflammation at the time of tracheal anastomosis. Complications include recurrent tracheal stenosis, pneumonia, or a recurrent TE fistula. This report describes the senior author's techniques of reconstructing the trachea when tracheal stenosis complicates a TE fistula. These techniques are illustrated in two case reports of patients with postintubation TE fistulae. Current methods of tracheal reconstruction in this setting are reviewed. The incidence of postoperative complications may decrease if tracheal reconstruction is delayed until the fistula is successfully closed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1398-1402
Number of pages5
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1996
Externally publishedYes


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