New Delhi: A kid-sized metallic stent was successfully placed across
the narrowed part of the oesophagus (food pipe) of a 10-year-old boy
who swallowed sulphuric acid by mistake in Kolkata.
The boy was unable to swallow his own saliva, leave aside food and
water after the acid, which he had mistaken for a cold drink, burnt
his food pipe.
Due to his inability to eat for nearly a month, the 10-year-old
suffered from malnutrition and weighed a mere 20 kgs. His health was
deteriorating when he was referred to Medica Superspecialty 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 the 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
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
With the stricture seemingly tight, the doctors decided simple
dilation with a 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 Sethy.
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 recently removed. Post
this, he was under the observation of GI team for over a month.