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Esophageal Perforation

Esophageal Perforation

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 strictureachalasia or esophageal cancer. The esophagus can also be perforated following severe vomiting.


  • Chest pain
  • Odynophagia (pain on swallowing)
  • Fever
  • Chills
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By Farzaneh Banki, M.D.


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3. Sharma P, Kozarek R, and the Practice Parameters Committee of the American College of Gastroenterology. Role of Esophageal Stents in Benign and Malignant Diseases. Am J Gastroenterol 2010; 105:258–273