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Article
August 1950

ROLE OF TRACHEOTOMY IN THE POSTOPERATIVE CARE OF PATIENTS SUBJECTED TO ESOPHAGECTOMY

Author Affiliations

CHICAGO
From the Department of Surgery (Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Young) and the Department of Otolaryngology (Dr. Holinger and Dr. Andrews), University of Illinois College of Medicine; the Fourth Surgical Service (Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Marlowe) and the Otolaryngological Service (Dr. Holinger and Dr. Andrews), St. Luke's Hospital, and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Dwight, Ill. (Dr. Reynolds). Dr. Marlowe is chief of the surgical service, Veterans Administration Center, Whipple, Ariz.

Arch Surg. 1950;61(2):211-228. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1950.01250020215003
Abstract

REMOVAL of the thoracic portion of the esophagus requires a long, tedious and shocking operation. In the postoperative period patients on whom this operation is performed are likely to have considerable pain and are subject to the many hazards of the operation as well as to other hazards which are concomitant and directly related thereto. These include especially pulmonary emboli and atelectasis. All complications which develop in these patients are likely to be particularly severe because of the poor nutritional condition in which they almost invariably present themselves.

For many reasons, pulmonary complications are particularly prone to develop and the patients are likely to have considerable difficulty in raising mucus, which seems to accumulate in especially large amounts in the tracheobronchial tree after esophagectomy. Experience indicates that the higher the level at which the esophagus is dissected, the larger is the amount of mucus that is likely to be present.

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