Transoral resection of short segment Zenker’s diverticulum and cricopharyngeal myotomy: an alternative minimally invasive approach

Mortensen M, Schaberg MR, Genden EM, Woo P. University of Virginia Health System, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. Laryngoscope. 2010 Jan;120(1):17-22.


OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: Transoral treatment of cricopharyngeal bar and small Zenker’s diverticulum remains a challenge. We propose a new transoral approach for transoral cricopharyngeal myotomy (TOCPM) for patients with cricopharyngeal spasm and pharyngeal bar, and for transoral resection of diverticula (TORD) with cricopharyngeal myotomy in the patient with small (<3 cm) Zenker’s diverticulum.

METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted of 45 patients with cricopharyngeal spasm (21) and Zenker’s diverticulum (24), where 14 patients were considered suitable for TORD and TOCPM. TOCPM used the Weerda laryngoscope (Karl Storz, Tuttlingen, Germany) to expose the cricopharyngeal bar using a microscope; the mucosa is cut and then the muscle is transected using monopolar cautery. A 0 degrees endoscope is inserted through the incision to ensure complete myotomy. Incision closure is by interrupted 4-0 Vicryl sutures (Ethicon Inc., Somerville, NJ) and fibrin glue. For the TORD procedure, the diverticular sac is everted and then resected using scissors. Through the sac opening, the TOCPM is completed. The sac opening is then closed as described in TOCPM. The patients are kept without food for 24 hours, followed by feeding and discharge. Modified barium swallow (MBS) evaluated functional results.

RESULTS: Fourteen patients underwent TOCPM (eight), and TOCPM+TORD (six). There was one case of TOCPM that was aborted due to excessive bleeding, which prevented full myotomy. The rest did well. All were discharged the next day. Two poor results from the TOCPM and TOCPM+TORD group were due to poor esophageal motility. The remainder of patients had resolution of dysphagia and normalized MBS. No patient developed stricture or complications.

CONCLUSIONS: Short segment Zenker’s diverticulum and cricopharyngeal bar can now be addressed completely with a transoral approach. Because there is complete closure of the mucosal incision, prolonged hospitalization can be avoided.

PMID: 19877194 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]