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© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York
Flexible Endoscopic Treatment of Zenker's Diverticulum: a New Approach
17 March 2008 (online)
Background and Study Aims: In the past, a number of treatment modalities have been used for the management of a Zenker's diverticulum. These include transcervical diverticulectomy, myotomy, or laser or diathermy treatment via rigid endoscopes. Up to the present, no reports of the treatment of a Zenker's diverticulum with a flexible endoscope have been published.
Patients and Methods: In this study, we present the results of our first 20 patients (13 male; mean age 82 years) prospectively treated with a flexible endoscope applied through diathermy. All patients had significant symptoms such as dysphagia, recurrent aspiration pneumonia and/or weight loss.
Results: Treatment using a mean of three sessions per patient was successful, with a good symptomatic response in all subjects. There were no severe complicatins associated with the therapy. Four patients complained about a sore throat for a few days. During follow-up (mean 6-7 months), three patients died due to unrelated causes, and 17 remained asymptomatic.
Conclusions: An important advantage is that it is possible to perform the treatment without general anesthesia, and therefore also in patients whose general health is poor. The technique can easily be performed in an interventional endoscopy unit. Our first experiences show that flexible endoscopic treatment is an effective and relatively safe method.