Esophageal Stent Migration as a Cause of Severe Upper Airway Obstruction
journal contributionposted on 29.08.2016, 00:00 by Mark A. Sloan, William E. Hauter, Paul A. Sloan, John A. Hafner
Self-expandable metal esophageal stents (SEMS) are used to provide symptomatic relief of dysphagia, particularly in cancer patients. The advancement of covered SEMS stents has decreased the rate of tumor in-growth complications, unfortunately with the cost of increased migration rates. Complications involving both the airway and gastrointestinal tract have been observed and studied. To date there are no cases reported involving complete migration into the upper airway. We report the case of an elderly male presenting emergently with a severe upper airway obstruction caused by a self-expandable metal stent that migrated proximally into the pharynx. Airway obstruction due to SEMS migration represents a rare but possible cause of respiratory distress in a patient with an esophageal stent.