Revision Zenker Diverticulum: Laser versus Stapler Outcomes following Initial Endoscopic Failure

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We used a retrospective chart review to analyze revision endoscopic carbon dioxide (CO2) laser and staple repairs of recurrent Zenker diverticulum (ZD).


The medical records of patients with recurrent ZD after primary endoscopic repair were selected. The chart data included method of repair (CO2 laser or stapler), demographics (age and sex), defect size (in centimeters), preoperative and postoperative symptoms, and complications. Patients' dysphagia was graded on a modified Functional Oral Intake Scale from 1 to 4 (1 being normal intake and 4 being severely limited intake or gastrostomy tube dependence). Regurgitation was also graded on a 1-to-4 scale (1 being no regurgitation and 4 being aspiration).


A total of 148 consecutive patients with ZD were treated with endoscopic repair between 2000 and 2010. Twelve of these patients had revisions after failed primary endoscopic management procedures, all done with the stapler. Eight revision surgeries were performed by CO2 laser, and 4 by stapler repair. No difference was noted in patient age or defect size (laser, 3.06-cm defects; stapler, 2.75-cm defects). The length of hospital stay and the time to oral intake for the patients who had a revision stapler procedure were significantly greater (p values of 0.029 and 0.009) than those for the patients in the primary stapler procedure group. Better postoperative regurgitation scores were noted for patients who had a CO2 laser procedure.


Secondary endoscopic repair for ZD recurrence is an effective treatment method. Better symptom outcomes were observed with secondary CO2 laser repair than with stapler revision. Patients with revision stapling had longer hospital stays and a longer time to oral intake than did patients with primary staple repairs.

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