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Difficulties Of Esophagoscopy

Source: A Manual Of Peroral Endoscopy And Laryngeal Surgery

The beginner may find the
esophagoscope seemingly rigidly fixed, so that it can be neither
introduced nor withdrawn. This usually results from a wedging of the
tube in the dental angle, and is overcome by a wider opening of the
jaws, or perhaps by easing up of the bite block, but most often by
correcting the position of the patient's head. If the beginner cannot
start the tube into the pyriform sinus in an adult, it is a good plan
to expose the arytenoid eminence with the laryngoscope and then to
insert the 7 mm. esophagoscope into the right pyriform sinus by direct
vision. Passing the cricopharyngeal and hiatal spasmodically
contracted narrowings will prove the most trying part of
esophagoscopy; but with the head properly held, and the tube properly
placed and directed, patient waiting for relaxation of the spasm with
gentle continuous pressure will usually expose the lumen ahead. In his
first few esophagoscopies the novice had best use general anesthesia
to avoid these difficulties and to accustom himself to the esophageal
image. In the first favorable subject--an emaciated individual with no
teeth--esophagoscopy without anesthesia should be tried.

In cases of kyphosis it is a mistake to try to straighten the spine.
The head should be held correspondingly higher at the beginning, and
should be very slowly and cautiously lowered.

Once inserted, the esophagoscope should not be removed until the
completion of the procedure, unless respiratory arrest demands it.
Occasionally in stenotic conditions the light may become covered by
the upwelling of a flood of fluid, and it will be thought the light
has gone out. As soon as the fluid has been aspirated the light will
be found burning as brightly as before. If a lamp should fail it is
unnecessary to remove the tube, as the light carrier and light can be
withdrawn and quickly adjusted. A complete instrument equipment with
proper selection of instruments for the particular case are necessary
for smooth working.

Next: Ballooning Esophagoscopy

Previous: Stage 4 Passing Through The Hiatus Esophageus

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