Original Article

Innovative Technique for Endoscopic Placement of Sengstaken-Blakemore Tube

Authors: Arleen M. Ortiz, MD, Cesar J. Garcia, MD, Mohamed O. Othman, MD, Marc J. Zuckerman, MD


Objectives: The Sengstaken-Blakemore (SB) tube is used in cases of uncontrolled variceal bleeding. Because of the complexity of the procedure and the lack of visualization, various techniques have been described to avoid blind placement. We report an innovative and simple technique for placement of the SB tube under direct endoscopic visualization.

Methods: A grasp-and-place technique for endoscopic placement of SB tubes is described and a retrospective cohort study chart review of endoscopies done for variceal bleeding in our medical center is reported. All patients with uncontrolled variceal bleeding who required placement of an SB tube from July 1, 2013 through December 31, 2015 were included. The primary outcome analyses were technical success of tube placement and achievement of hemostasis.

Results: Of 143 endoscopies done for variceal bleeding, 10 were managed with SB tubes placed endoscopically after initial endoscopic therapy was unsuccessful. Successful placement of the tube was achieved in all of the patients. Hemostasis was achieved in 9 of the 10 patients.

Conclusions: We propose a new grasp-and-place technique for endoscopic placement of SB tubes. Review of our experience shows that massive variceal bleeding can be managed effectively with this technique.

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