• Esophagotomy is important as a palliative procedure when surgical extirpation of an esophageal tumor proves impossible. The operation here described involves an incision in the neck medial to the sternomastoid muscle and consists essentially in placing a plastic tube where it will facilitate passage of swallowed material through the obstructed segment of the esophagus. A smaller tube that extends from the patient's nose or mouth through the plastic tube into his stomach is used for feeding until the fourth to sixth day, when it is removed.
The plastic tube remains in situ and thereafter permits the patient to eat soft and semiliquid foods. Two cases of inoperable esophageal carcinoma are described to illustrate the symptomatic relief, improvement in nutrition, and amelioration of mental status achieved by this operation.
Heimlich HJ, Greenlees TW, Winfield JM. CARCINOMA OF THE ESOPHAGUSA PALLIATIVE PROCEDURE WITH USE OF A PLASTIC TUBE INTRODUCED THROUGH A CERVICAL INCISION. JAMA. 1956;161(3):192–195. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970030010003
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