• Thirty-seven patients with either bleeding or obstructive metastatic gastrointestinal malignant neoplasms were treated with the neodymium-YAG laser between June 1985 and December 1988. The age range for the group was 55 to 99 years, with a mean of 71 years. There were 25 upper gastrointestinal lesions, including 22 obstructive lesions (20 esophageal and two prepyloric gastric) and three bleeding lesions (one metastatic melanoma to the stomach, one duodenal, and one pancreatic carcinoma). Of the esophageal tumors, three were proximal, eight were middle, and nine were distal third. The mean number of laser treatments was 2.6, and the overall survival ranged from 1 to 20 months, with a median of 8 months. The dysphagia grade was improved overall but depended on the site of the tumor. All bleeding lesions were successfully photocoagulated. Twelve colorectal malignant neoplasms were treated palliatively, six for obstruction (three intraperitoneal colon and three rectal) and six for bleeding (three intraperitoneal and three rectal). The mean number of treatments for the group was 1.5, and the overall survival ranged from 2 to 38 months, with a median survival of 15 months. The neodymium-YAG laser was found to be effective as a palliative mode of therapy for the management of malignant gastrointestinal lesions.
(Arch Surg. 1990;125:1152-1154)