Efficacy and Safety of Flexible Endoscopic Management of Zenker’s Diverticulum

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Zenker’s diverticulum (ZD), a pulsion diverticulum of hypopharynx is a rare but treatable cause of morbidity in geriatric population. Traditionally a surgical disease but due to its associated high morbidity, flexible endoscopy has become a lucrative option. We reviewed 997 patients from 23 original studies who underwent flexible endoscopic diverticulotomy (FED) of ZD. Composite technical and clinical success rate for the study cohort was 99.4% and 87.9%, respectively. Composite failure rate was 10.0% but close to half of them (45.3%) had success with repeat endoscopic intervention. Composite rate for symptom recurrence after long-term follow-up was 13.6% but more than half (61.8%) had success with repeat endoscopic intervention. Bleeding (6.6%) and perforation (5.3%) were 2 most common complications of FED. All bleeding events were successfully managed with observation or endoscopic therapy. Majority of perforation events (4.4%) were successfully managed with conservative care and only 0.9% required invasive management. No mortality was reported. Efficacy and safety of FED of ZD remained same irrespective of diverticulum size or prior surgical/endoscopic treatment. FED with diverticuloscope (FEDD) and FED with cap (FEDC) had comparable technical success rate (99.6% vs. 100.0%) but FEDD had higher clinical success rate compared with FEDC (86.8% vs. 75.4%). FEDD had twice the risk of symptom recurrence than FEDC (16.5% vs. 9.5%). FEDD had a comparable bleeding risk to FEDC (3.3% vs. 4.0%) but a much lower perforation rate (2.3% vs. 10.3%). Upper esophageal sphincterotomy and adequate length of septotomy are the cornerstones of FED. FED can be considered a safe and efficacious treatment modality for patients with ZD.

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