gms | German Medical Science

76th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

04.05. - 08.05.2005, Erfurt

Self-expandable esophageal stents in management of pharyngeal fistula

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author Piotr Trojanowski - Otolaryngology Dept., Lublin, Poland
  • Kamal Morshed - Otolaryngology Dept., Lublin, Poland
  • Anna Szymanska - Interventional Radiology Dept., Lublin, Poland

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie. 76. Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie e.V.. Erfurt, 04.-08.05.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc05hno225

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2005

© 2005 Trojanowski et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Pharyngeal fistula is one of the most common complications of laryngectomy and pharyngolaryngectomy. In patients with poorly healing defects, often as a result of radiotherapy, closure of the fistula is impossible, even using various surgical reconstruction techniques. The aim of the study is presentation of our experience in treatment of pharyngeal fistulae with self-expandable esophageal stents in cases, where various flap reconstruction techniques failed.

Method: There were 5 patients with pharyngeal fistula after pharyngolaryngectomy and 1 patient with pharyngeal fistula after subtotal tongue resection and laryngectomy treated with esophageal stent implantation. The procedure was performed under local anesthesia using x-ray guide.

Results: In all cases stent implantation resulted in closure of the fistula and enabled the patients to swallow normally without use of the stomach tube. Four patients died of the primary disease. Two patients from the group are still alive without the fistula (8 and 27 months after the procedure). In 2 cases a transposition of the prosthesis occurred, which was handled by means of second stent implantation.

Conclusions: 1. Stent implantation is an effective method of palliative treatment of pharyngeal fistulae in patients where reconstruction techniques have failed. 2. This method resolves the symptoms of the fistula immediately. 3. The complication risk of stent implantation is small. 4. Possible stent migration can occur.