Management of Zenker's diverticulum and postlaryngectomy pseudodiverticulum with the CO2laser

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Dysphagia is a common symptom and can be caused by anterior pharyngeal (pseudodiverticulum after laryngectomy) and posterior pharyngeal (Zenker's) diverticula. The only treatment is surgical. The experience with an endoscopic treatment, especially with the CO2laser, is limited. Between 1984 and 1996, 81 patients with dysphagia were treated endoscopically with the CO2laser at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Kiel. In 70 patients the swallowing disorder was caused by a hypopharyngeal diverticulum, and in 11 patients it was caused by a pseudodiverticulum after laryngectomy. In the Zenker's group, more than 90% of the patients were treated successfully. Eight of 11 patients with pseudodiverticula were without symptoms, and in the remaining 3 patients dysphagia was improved after laser therapy. The excision technique was superior to the incision procedures. The rate of postoperative complications was generally low. The microendoscopic approach with the CO2laser is a recommendable method for the treatment of Zenker's diverticulum and pseudodiverticulum in the postlaryngectomy patient. The surgical technique with the CO2laser at low power settings is a less invasive, quick, relatively safe, and effective procedure requiring only short hospitalization.




Lippert, B. M., Folz, B. J., Rudert, H. H., & Werner, J. A. (1999). Management of Zenker’s diverticulum and postlaryngectomy pseudodiverticulum with the CO2laser. Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, 121(6), 809–814.

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