Complications associated with surgery
Esophagus injuries occur during the anterior approach with an incidence of 0.2-0.4%. They may cause surgical site infection, cutaneous fistula, or mediastinitis, which is a serious and potentially lethal complication.
The esophagus is at the greatest risk of injury when the anterior dissection reaches the vertebra as the esophagus lies adjacent to the spine.
Inserting a tube into the esophagus before surgery may help the surgeon to identify and avoid compromising the esophagus.
Early diagnosis is crucial to prevent infection.
Immediate repair is absolutely necessary.
If there is any doubt regarding injury to the esophagus during surgery, this needs to be clarified using contrast radiograms prior to closure of the wound. An ENT surgeon should be contacted if necessary.
In case of infection after an anterior approach, injury to the esophagus should be suspected. Lateral contrast radiogram with swallowing is used to diagnose any rupture.