Man Suffers Inability to Eat Due to Leak from Esophagectomy

Cody Porcoro

Written by
on October 31, 2017

This case involves a 49-year-old patient with a history of smoking who underwent a minimally invasive esophagectomy to treat esophageal dysplasia. The patient was on a liquid diet for the first 11 days of his admission and on the 12th day the surgeon decided to advance the patient to a full solid diet. The patient immediately experienced severe pain in his upper abdomen upon ingesting the solids. He subsequently developed a severe leak where his esophagus connected to his stomach. Another surgery had to be performed in an attempt to fix the damage. However, the patient continued to suffer from the inability to independently eat via mouth due to the damages caused following the first surgery.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. How soon after an esophagectomy should a doctor advance a patient's diet to full solids?

Expert Witness Response E-007025

The time allotted before a patient is given solid food differs on a case by case basis. I am conservative and usually start patients on a full solid food diet two weeks after surgery.

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