Esophageal perforation is a life-threatening condition. Saliva is spread from the esophagus to surrounding tissues, resulting in infection. If untreated, esophageal perforation can result in sepsis (severe infection) and death.
The majority of esophageal perforations are caused by instrumentation following an upper endoscopy and dilation of the esophagus for treatment of conditions such as esophageal peptic stricture, achalasia or esophageal cancer. The esophagus can also be perforated following severe vomiting.
By Farzaneh Banki, M.D.
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