Surgery of the esophagus has undergone great improvements in recent years. In most instances today, benign or malignant lesions of the esophagus can be treated surgically. In certain cases, however, when the surgeon must carry out wide resection of this structure to ensure adequate removal of neoplastic tissues, he may encounter great difficulty in restoring physiologic continuity. At other times total cicatricial stenosis may make it impossible to regain physiologic function of the esophagus by any method. On such occasions certain plastic operations devised to produce a neoesophagus offer the surgeon an approach to solution of the problem. If the Procedure is successful, the patient can carry on normal oral feeding, since the inconvenience of a permanent gastrostoma is avoided.
Materials employed in plastic surgery of the esophagus have been skin grafts, segments of the gastrointestinal tube, and inert substances, as well as tissues from other organs used in grafting.