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INTRODUCTION: Oesophageal perforations and post-oesophagectomy anastomotic leaks are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Endoscopic vacuum therapy (EVT) is a novel treatment strategy with the potential to promote healing and ameliorate sepsis. Only two cases of its use have been reported in the UK in the management of oesophageal wall defects, representing a limited aetiological and demographic spectrum. MATERIAL AND METHODS: From May to December 2019, 7 patients aged 27-85 years underwent EVT for disparate oesophageal wall defects. Data regarding technical success and feasibility were analysed. RESULTS: Complete defect resolution was achieved in six cases (86%), requiring median of 13 days of treatment (range 6-23), and necessitating three replacement procedures (range 1-4). Significant improvement in C-reactive protein was achieved in all patients undergoing treatment (p = .015). No severe complications occurred that resulted directly from sponge placement, however two individuals (33%) developed oesophageal stricture necessitating endoscopic balloon dilatation, and one died whilst undergoing treatment. CONCLUSION: In selected patients EVT is a safe, valuable tool for the management of a spectrum of oesophageal wall defects, with the potential to reduce associated morbidity and mortality. While this work significantly expands upon the UK reported experience of EVT, we outline the requirement for a national, prospective registry of EVT use in oesophageal leaks and perforations. ABBREVIATIONS: AL: anastomotic leak; CRP: C-reactive protein; CT: computed tomography; EVT: endoscopic vacuum therapy; HES: hospital episode statistics; OGD: oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy; SEMS: oesophageal stenting with self-expanding stents; UK: United Kingdom.

Original publication




Journal article


Minim Invasive Ther Allied Technol

Publication Date



1 - 9


EVT, Eso-SPONGE, endoscopy, oesophagus, perforation