We conducted a retrospective study to evaluate the use of flexible esophagoscopy as part of routine panendoscopy in an academic setting. We reviewed the results of 378 procedures that were performed over a 4-year period in an academic otolaryngology-head and neck surgery program for residents and fellows. Medical records were reviewed for early and late complications as well as for adequacy of the examination. We found no immediate or long-term complications associated with flexible esophagoscopy. Adequate examination was achieved in all but two cases (99%), both of which involved patients who had significant strictures related to radiation therapy and who were not able to be evaluated by rigid esophagoscopy. We conclude that flexible esophagoscopy is a safe and accurate means of evaluating the esophagus during a panendoscopic evaluation of the upper aerodigestive tract, and that it should be included in the diagnostic armamentarium of every otolaryngology-head and neck surgery resident and fellow.
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