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AIM:  No consensus exists about the optimal surgical technique for esophageal replacement. This study reports the surgical outcomes for the gastric pull-up and the colonic interposition procedures. MATERIALS AND METHODS:  A retrospective review of children undergoing esophageal replacement surgery between January 2001 and June 2015 across four different pediatric surgery centers was conducted. Data collected included indications, epidemiology, surgical technique, complications, and outcomes. Patients were divided into group A, those that had a gastric pull-up procedure and group B, those that had a colonic interposition procedure. RESULTS:  In total, 50 patients were included; 29 in group A and 21 in group B. Indications included esophageal atresia, caustic ingestion, and infective esophageal stricture. The median age at the time of surgery was 13 months. The mean length of follow-up was 5.2 years. Three patients died giving a mortality rate of 6%; 2 in group A and 1 in group B.In both groups, early postoperative complications included infective complications, such as wound infections, sepsis, and pneumonia (11), anastomotic leak (7), and respiratory complications (7). Late complications included adhesive bowel obstruction (2), anastomotic strictures (4), redundancy (1), and jejunostomy problems (1). Septic complications and anastomotic strictures occurred more frequently in group B. Further surgery was needed in eight patients; this was significantly higher in group B. Full oral feeding was achieved within 6 months in 91.5%. CONCLUSION:  The gastric pull-up and colonic interposition have comparable mortality and outcomes. The colonic interposition was associated with a higher rate of early septic complications, anastomotic strictures, and need for further surgery.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Pediatr Surg

Publication Date





22 - 29


Child, Child, Preschool, Colon, Esophageal Atresia, Esophageal Stenosis, Esophagoplasty, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Infant, Male, Postoperative Complications, Retrospective Studies, Stomach, Treatment Outcome