Effect of traction sutures in the distal esophagus of the rat: a model for esophageal elongation by Foker's method

Maria Francelina Lopes*, D. Catré, A. Cabrita, A. Pires, J. Patrício

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to evaluate a rat model of esophageal elongation using traction sutures by the Foker's method. After esophageal division and closure of the distal segment at approximately 4 mm from the cardia, traction sutures were placed for progressive stretching until the 7th postoperative day in the experimental group (n = 10), whilst no traction sutures were placed in the esophagus of the control group (n = 10). Clinical outcome as well as macroscopic and microscopic esophageal morphology were evaluated in both groups. All rats survived the surgical procedure and the anesthetic recovery period. Disruption of sutures during the traction period occurred in 20% of the rats, which required reoperation. Integrity of the stretched esophagus was confirmed at autopsy in all animals. In contrast to the control group, the experimental group showed a significantly more elongated (average length 6.10 ± 1.10 mm versus 3.91 ± 0.17 mm, (P = 0.0001)) and thicker esophagus (average mass 35.9 ± 3.31 mg versus 15.6 ± 1.71 mg in the control group, P = 0.0001). Histopathological examination showed a relatively well preserved morphology of the stretched esophagus. These observations suggest that esophageal stretching by traction sutures can be undertaken reliably in a rat model, resulting in elongation and mass increase of the stretched esophagus without important tissue damage. As this model mimics Foker's method, it may serve as a useful model in further research studies and may be used to train in surgical technique.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-573
Number of pages4
JournalDiseases of the Esophagus
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Esophageal elongation
  • Foker'smethod
  • Rat model
  • Traction suture


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