Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery

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Esophageal Duplication Cyst

Esophageal duplication cysts are rare inherited lesions usually diagnosed in early childhood. Most of them are found in the mediastinum and manifest themselves as separate masses along or in continuity with the native esophagus. Their prevalence remains unknown and they are treated either surgically or endoscopically.

Symptoms

In adults, the patients with esophageal duplication cysts usually do not exhibit symptoms and are often diagnosed during chest X-rays, photograph or computed tomography for other conditions. However, cysts may become symptomatic owing to various complications such as narrowing of the esophagus, respiratory system compression, rupture, infarction (diseased tissue caused by a local lack of oxygen), or malignancy.

Esophageal diverticula can affect people of all ages, although most cases occur in middle-aged and elderly individuals. Overall, esophageal diverticula are rare, showing up in less than 1 percent of upper gastrointestinal X-rays and occurring in less than 5 percent of patients who complain of dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing).

Treatment

Surgery is the standard treatment for symptomatic esophageal duplication cysts A minimally invasive approach to surgery for esophageal duplication cysts is less invasive than open surgery, resulting in reduced risk of infections, shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery time.

During the procedure, your surgeon will insert a breathing tube and then make three or four small incisions in the chest area. He or she will insert a tiny camera as well as small surgical tools into these incisions using catheters. While viewing a screen of detailed images of your esophagus, your surgeon will guide the movement of the instruments using the computer console. The duplication cyst(s) will be located, separated from muscle fibers, and removed from your esophagus. Your surgeon will close the incisions when the resection is complete.

With minimally invasive surgery, you will likely remain in the hospital for 1 to 2 days, and full recovery may take 2 to 3 weeks, as opposed to open surgery, which can take up to 6 weeks. It is important to follow your doctor's orders in regards to post-procedure eating, drinking and medications.