Short-term esophageal stenting in the management of benign perforations.van Heel NC, Haringsma J, Spaander MC, Bruno MJ, Kuipers EJ. Am J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jul;105(7):1515-20. Epub 2010 Mar 16. OBJECTIVES: The standard approach to benign esophageal perforations consists of conservative treatment or surgery. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of short-term stent placement for nonmalignant esophageal perforations. METHODS: This is a prospective single-center study of patients with benign esophageal perforations in whom a removable self-expandable stent was placed. Data were collected from a prospective database, endoscopy records, and operation reports. To obtain follow-up data, we contacted the patients, their relatives, or their general practitioner. RESULTS: A total of 33 patients underwent stent insertion owing to an iatrogenic perforation (n=19), Boerhaave’s syndrome (n=10), or other causes (n=4); this resulted in an immediate and complete sealing of the lesion in 32 patients (97%). Stents migrated in 11 patients (33%). Four patients required an esophageal resection for failed stent therapy (n=3) and failed stent removal (n=1). The 90-day mortality rate was 15%. A total of 33 endoscopic stent extractions were attempted. Overall, 23 stents were extracted within 6 weeks (group I) and 10 stents between 6 and 84 weeks (group II). Extractions were uncomplicated in all patients in group I (100%) vs. in 5 patients in group II (50%) (P=0.001). Six extraction-related complications occurred in group II, including two self-limiting bleedings, three stent fractures, and one impacted stent. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with a benign esophageal perforation, temporary stent therapy is effective and provides a good alternative to surgery. Complications due to stent removal can be prevented by removal of the prosthesis within 6 weeks after insertion, without compromising the efficacy of treatment.