Objective: To assess the effectiveness of transoral stapled diverticulum esophagostomy in relieving symptoms and decreasing outflow resistance at the pharyngoesophageal junction in patients with Zenker diverticulum. Design: Cohort study. From April 1, 1992, until May 31, 1996, the operation was attempted in 95 patients. The median follow-up was 23 months (range, 13-48 months). Setting: Tertiary care university hospital. Patients: There were 74 men and 21 women, with a median age of 64 years (age range, 37-92 years). All complained of dysphagia and pharyngo-oral regurgitation, and 18 (20%) suffered from recurrent aspiration pneumonia. The median size of the pouch measured by flexible endoscopy was 4 cm (range, 2.5-8 cm). Intervention: The septum between the diverticulum and the esophageal lumen was divided under general anesthesia using a linear endostapler introduced through a Weerda endoscope. In most patients, 2 applications of the endostapler with a modified anvil were used. Operative time averaged 23 minutes. Main Outcome Measures: Morbidity, symptom score, patient's satisfaction, videofluorographic barium transit, hypopharyngeal intrabolus pressure, upper esophageal clearance of radioisotope. Results: A switch to open surgery was required in 3 patients (3.1%), due to difficult exposure of the common wall in 2 cases and a mucosal tear in the other. No postoperative morbidity or mortality was recorded. Oral feeding was started the following day and the median hospital stay was 3 days (range, 2-8 days). Five patients complained of persistent symptoms; 3 of them underwent another endosurgical operation, 1 underwent laser treatment by means of flexible endoscopy, and 1 eventually required open surgery. All patients are asymptomatic at the latest follow-up visit. Postoperative radiologic studies showed free flow of barium in all patients. Manometry showed a significant reduction of hypopharyngeal intrabolus pressure over preoperative values (P=.003). Radionuclide studies showed a significant reduction of upper esophageal residual activity at 1 minute compared with preoperative values (P=.006). Conclusions: Endosurgical approach to hypopharyngeal diverticula larger than 2 cm is safe and effective. Symptom relief, elimination of the pouch, and decreased outflow resistance at the pharyngoesophageal junction can be obtained without morbidity and with a short hospital stay.
ASJC Scopus subject areas