About 16 months ago I was called to the operating room by the surgical service to laryngoscope and, if possible, identify a residual lumen through the pharynx into the esophagus after a severe sodium hypochlorite (Drano) burn. Endoscopy revealed a small dimple through which a conventional bougie could not be passed. By mere chance I had with me a small bar of polished Teflon, and, in desperation, an attempt was made to pass this into the esophagus. Much to the surprise of all concerned it passed with ease.
On the basis of this experience a set of esophageal dilators was made up, pattern after the conventional, woven, wax-impregnated bougies. They became available for trial in May of 1963 and have been in constant use since that time.*
Among the patients treated with these new Teflon bougies are four who had, for periods varying from six months to 14 years, resisted
EMERSON EB. Clinical Notes, New Instruments and Techniques: Teflon Esophageal Dilators. Arch Otolaryngol. 1965;81(2):213–214. doi:10.1001/archotol.1965.00750050220021
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