Cricopharyngeal myotomy for cricopharyngeus muscle dysfunction after esophagectomy

  • Kobayashi S
  • Taniguchi K
  • Tanaka F
  • et al.
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BACKGROUND: Pharyngoesophageal dysphagia sometimes develops after esophagectomy. However, severe dysphagia after esophagectomy due to cricopharyngeus muscle dysfunction is a rare complication. There are no recommended clinical treatments for cricopharyngeus muscle dysfunction after esophagectomy. We report a case of myotomy for cricopharyngeus muscle dysfunction after esophagectomy. CASE PRESENTATION: A 75-year-old man with mild dysphagia diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer by esophagogastroduodenoscopy at a clinic was admitted to our hospital. He had occasional mild dysphagia when he swallowed solid foods. After chemotherapy, the patient underwent minimally invasive esophagectomy with regional lymph node dissection and was reconstructed with a gastric conduit and cervical anastomosis by the retrosternal route. Aspiration pneumonia developed after esophagectomy without paralysis of the vocal cords. In esophagoscopy, there was no stricture around the anastomosis. However, severe pharyngoesophageal dysphagia with cricopharyngeus muscle dysfunction was revealed by videofluoroscopic examination. Bilateral cricopharyngeal myotomy was performed because balloon dilations had failed. The histological findings revealed atrophy and fibrosis of the cricopharyngeus muscle fibers. Pharyngoesophageal dysphagia improved immediately after myotomy. The patient swallowed solid food easily without dysphagia 12 months after myotomy. CONCLUSION: Dysphagia after esophagectomy was worsened by cricopharyngeus muscle dysfunction. Cricopharyngeus myotomy may lead to long improvement of pharyngo-oesophageal dysphagia after esophagetomy.




Kobayashi, S., Taniguchi, K., Tanaka, F., Maeda, S., Hirayama, T., Tokunaga, T., … Kuroki, T. (2020). Cricopharyngeal myotomy for cricopharyngeus muscle dysfunction after esophagectomy. Surgical Case Reports, 6(1).

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