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The Flourish technique: A new way to repair oesophageal atresia (OA)

Dr Sherif Emil is one of the few paediatric surgeons in the world to have, successfully, carried out a procedure on a baby born with long-gap oesophageal atresia (OA) that involves drawing the two unconnected ends of his patient’s oesophagus together by the use of magnets.

Named “Flourish”, the technique was invented by Dr Zeritzky, an Argentinian radiologist, now working at the University of Chicago.

We caught up with Dr Emil to find out more.

[Tip: Use the quick links below to jump to any part of the video]

00:18 Why the procedure is called “Flourish”?

01:52 When and where was the procedure first trialled?

02:48 When did you first perform the procedure?

05:48 How did you feel when you started off doing that operation on that little boy?

09:17 Could you describe how the procedure works?

13:29 Can you explain what do you do with the magnets?

17:19 Has anyone experienced an intolerance to the metal used in the magnets?

18:17 How long does it generally take for the two ends to fuse together?

20:26 Do you think it hurts having magnets inside you?

21:00 Would you contemplate doing this procedure on a new born that’s just been diagnosed with OA?

23:14 Is it possible to do the procedure on a baby that has oesophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula?

24:37 In your experience does long gap atresia occur more frequently without a fistula?

27:59 How many OA patients have been treated in this way?

28:56 Do you think this is the way forward for dealing with long gap oesophageal atresia?

30:20 Do you know if patients have been treated with flourish are as prone to strictures as other kinds of treatment?

31:13 Are the patients still prone to reflux?

35:20 How long did the operation take?

36:20 How you prepare yourself for an operation of that length?

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