Efficacy and risk profile of self-expandable stents in the management of pediatric esophageal pathology

Brian P. Fallon, R. Elliott Overman, James D. Geiger, Marcus D. Jarboe, Shaun M. Kunisaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and risk profile of esophageal stents in the management of complicated pediatric esophageal disease. Methods: An IRB-approved, single-center, retrospective review was performed on all pediatric patients (n = 13)who underwent esophageal stent placement (2005–2017). Demographic, perioperative, and outcome data were analyzed (p < 0.05). Results: Forty-one stents were placed due to recalcitrant strictures (n = 36), perforations (n = 2), and/or fistulae (n = 3). Median age at initial stent placement was 23.8 months (range, 50 days to 16 years), and median stent duration was 36 days (range, 3–335). The recurrence rate for strictures after initial stent removal was 100%. Four (31%)children subsequently underwent definitive operative repair. There were 5 deaths, including 2 related to stent placement. Seventy-one percent of stents were associated with an adverse event, most commonly intraluminal migration (56%). Younger children experienced an increased risk for airway compression and retching (p = 0.010). Conclusion: These data suggest that stents are associated with high complication rates and are not effective as definitive therapy for recalcitrant strictures in children. Although there may be a temporizing role for stents in selected patients, further refinements in stent technologies are needed to help manage this difficult patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1233-1238
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Esophageal atresia
  • Stents
  • Strictures
  • Tracheoesophageal fistula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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