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Laryngoscope. 2003 Jun;113(6):957-65.

Endoscopic staple diverticulostomy for Zenker's diverticulum: review of literature and experience in 159 consecutive cases.

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Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.



Several reports since the early 1990s have advocated a minimally invasive technique, endoscopic staple diverticulostomy (ESD), to treat Zenker's diverticulum. However, long-term results and comparisons with the reported experience with external or other endoscopic approaches have been lacking in the literature. We present follow-up on our experience with ESD since 1995 and compare it with the results obtained by other endoscopic or external techniques for treatment of Zenker's diverticulum.


Retrospective review of 159 consecutive ESD procedures performed on 150 unique patients with Zenker's diverticulum between March 1995 and August 2002. Telephone interviews of patients were conducted to assess long-term treatment outcome. Review of the literature was performed by Ovid MEDLINE search for all reports on the surgical treatment of Zenker's diverticulum in the English language between January 1990 and August 2002.


Data were retrospectively reviewed and information was tabulated for age, sex, size of diverticulum, symptoms, duration of symptoms, operative time, length of hospital stay, time before oral intake, complications, and relief of symptoms at first postoperative visit. Follow-up interviews of patients were conducted to assess current status of symptoms and, if any symptoms returned, how many months after the procedure they recurred. All case series in the literature in the English language since 1990 that were found in the Ovid MEDLINE database and referenced from identified articles were also tabulated for the same information.


At the time of initial follow-up after ESD, 98% of patients reported complete or improved symptoms. Average hospital stay was 0.76 days, with a diet started on postoperative day 0.25. There was a 2.0% significant complication rate without mortality. Further follow-up (average, 32.2 mo) identified a recurrence rate of 11.8%. On review of the literature, patients who underwent ESD had shorter perioperative courses, quicker return to diet, and lower complication and mortality rates compared with external procedures. ESD had comparable operative times and mortality rates, but fewer complications and more rapid convalescent times compared with other endoscopic procedures. Recurrence rates were found to be variable.


Overall, ESD is an outpatient procedure with few complications. The technique has a faster operative and convalescence period with fewer complication rates compared with other endoscopic or external transcervical approaches. The results in the present study and those reported in the English language literature advocate that ESD be the initial preferred treatment for Zenker's diverticulum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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