The only means of treatment in cases of hypopharyngeal diverticula (Zenker's diverticula) is operative. The conventional method of operation is that of dissecting the diverticulum by means of an external incision and extirpation of the pouch at its neck. This is a radical operation which, however, has certain disadvantages. The patients concerned here are mostly of an advanced age, being generally between 60 and 70 years old. Owing to the difficulties in swallowing which do not admit of an adequate intake of food and fluid, the patients are often in a poor condition when referred to the surgeon. Sometimes the operation is followed by such complications as fistulae, paralysis of the recurrent nerve, or recrudescence of symptoms. This happens in about 3% of the cases operated on in the way described.
One of us (Dohlman) has therefore for some 20 years used a different mode of operation. The aim of
DOHLMAN G, MATTSSON O. The Endoscopic Operation for Hypopharyngeal Diverticula: A Roentgencinematographic Study. AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1960;71(5):744–752. doi:10.1001/archotol.1960.03770050004002
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