Esophageal Mucocele: A Complication of Blind Loop Esophagus

M. Vinayak Kamath, Robert G. Ellison, Joseph W. Rubin, H. Victor Moore, Ganesh P. Pai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Mucocele of the bypassed esophagus is an unusual complication of esophageal replacement and has been described only in isolated reference. This report is based on our experience with 6 patients in whom a mucocele developed following esophageal replacement. Esophageal replacement was performed on 37 patients over a 10-year period at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital. A symptomatic mucocele requiring excision developed in 3 patients with achalasia, 1 with congenital tracheoesophageal fistula, 1 with esophageal atresia, and 1 with inflammatory stricture. Conduits used included stomach (4), reversed gastric tube (1), and colon (1). Our experience indicates that conversion of a closed-loop esophagus into a symptomatic mucocele is more likely in the presence of functioning, chronically irritated mucosa. The clinical features were referable to the mucocele itself or respiratory embarrassment therefrom. Thoracic roentgenograms and computed tomographic scans were diagnostic in verifying the presence of the esophageal mucocele. All five mucoceles arose from squamous epithelium. One of 3 patients with achalasia in whom a mucocele developed following esophageal replacement had premalignant changes in the mucosa. Based on this experience, our treatment of choice is early, complete excision of the mucocele.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-269
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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