Routine post-operative esophagram Is not necessary after repair of esophageal atresia

Jamie Golden, Natalie E. Demeter, Joanna C. Lim, Henri Ford, Jeffrey S. Upperman, Christopher P. Gayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction Esophagrams are routinely performed following repair of esophageal atresia (EA) with or without tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF); however, its utility has not been validated. Methods EA/TEF repair performed from 2003 to 2014 at a single pediatric hospital and from 2004 to 2014 in the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS) database were retrospectively reviewed to determine utility of esophagrams. Results Esophagram was performed in 99% of patients at our institution (N = 105). Clinical signs were seen prior to esophagram in patients whose leak changed clinical management. Esophagram on post-operative day ≤15 was performed in 66% of PHIS database patients (N = 3255). Esophagram did not change the incidence of chest tube placement, reoperation, or dilation. Patients who required a reoperation were less likely to have an esophagram than patients who did not require a reoperation (40.7% versus 65.7%, p < 0.001). Conclusion Our data suggest that routine esophagram is not necessary in asymptomatic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)640-644
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Anastomotic leak
  • Esophageal atresia
  • Esophagram
  • Tracheoesophageal fistula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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