Since esophageal carcinoma is usually disseminated by the time diagnosis is made, treatment is often palliative. Symptomatic patients for whom no cure was possible were treated endoscopically with the Nd:YAG laser. Five patients aged 49 to 64 years, with tumors ranging in length from 5 to 11 cm, were treated. Significant clinical, endoscopic and radiographic improvements were noted in all patients. No major side effects were encountered. Endoscopic Nd: YAG laser therapy for carcinoma of the esophagus may provide a promising new approach for palliative treatment.
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