BackgroundGastrobronchial fistulas are rare, but life-threatening, complications of esophagectomy. They are caused by anastomotic leakage and mainly occur around anastomotic sites. In the present paper, we report a rare case of leakage from the staple line of a gastric tube after esophagectomy for esophageal cancer, which was successfully treated using an intercostal muscle flap and lung resection.Case presentationA 61-year-old male underwent subtotal esophagectomy with regional lymphadenectomy for esophageal cancer. The sutures along the staple line of the gastric tube failed 11 days after surgery, and a pulmonary abscess was also found on imaging. The abscess did not heal after conservative treatment; therefore, right lower lobectomy, gastrobronchial fistula resection, primary closure, and patching of the leaking portion of the gastric tube with an intercostal muscle flap were performed 9 months after the first operation. The patient’s postoperative course was uneventful, and he was discharged on the 354th day.ConclusionsWe experienced a case involving a gastrobronchial fistula caused by leakage from the staple line of a gastric tube and successfully treated it by performing right lower lobectomy and patching the leak with an intercostal muscle flap.