Kolkata: Doctors at a private hospital here have successfully placed a kid-sized metallic stent across the narrowed part of the oesophagus of a 10-year-old- boy who was unable to swallow his own saliva, leave aside food and water, after gulping down sulphuric acid by mistake.
The boy’s oesophagus, in other words the food pipe — a muscular tube connecting the throat (pharynx) with the stomach — was burnt by the acid which he had mistaken for a cold drink.
Suffering from significant malnutrition for his inability to eat for almost a month and weighing a mere 20kg, Vishwa’s (name changed) health was deteriorating when he was referred to Medica Superspeciality Hospital by the doctors of a local hospital.
After examining the child and seeing the barium swallow X-ray, the doctors found he had a severely narrowed lower-end of oesophagus with the contrast barely entering the stomach, the hospital said.
An upper GI (gastrointestinal) endoscopy dilated the narrowing and a feeding tube, popularly known as Ryle’s tube, was placed through the narrowing area into the stomach for the feeding so as to correct his malnutrition.
After a month, the narrowed part of the oesophagus was dilated, but simultaneously the doctors detected a suspected fistulous communication between the stricture and the left bronchus (respiratory tube).
With the stricture seemingly tight, the doctors decided simple dilation with balloon would be difficult, but the child was able to take liquids after two more sessions.
The parents wanted to go with the stent placement procedure to avoid major surgery, explained the hospital’s director, gastroenterology, Pradeepta Kumar Sethi.
Once the dilation sessions were over, the metallic stent placement was done in the patient’s oesophagus under general anaesthesia.
With the stent placed, the child had a dramatic recovery.
After two weeks, he resumed his normal activities like going to school, and within six weeks the stent was removed.