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Esophageal Diverticulum

Esophageal diverticulum is an out-pouching of the esophagus that may accumulate food and fluid resulting in regurgitation and/or aspiration. It occurs most often in older adults and is caused by uncoordinated esophageal contractions or non-relaxation of the upper or lower esophageal sphincters. 

Tests & diagnosis for Epiphrenic (near the diaphragm) Diverticulum

  • Barium swallow study involves you drinking a chalky liquid (barium solution) that coats your esophagus, allowing us to visualize on X-rays the passage of this fluid through your esophagus and into the stomach.
  • High-resolution manometry measures the strength, pressure and coordination of your esophagus' muscles. A specially trained nurse guides a small catheter through your nose and into the esophagus and instructs your to swallow small amounts of liquid at specific intervals. This test is required to make the diagnosis of achalasia.

Tests & diagnosis for Zenker’s (next to the throat) Diverticulum

  • Modified barium swallow is a specialized barium study where the efficiency of swallowing is evaluated. Interventions include modifications in the type of swallowed bolus, and the timing of swallowing in relationship to breathing. This study lets the physician see what is happening inside your mouth and throat.
  • High-resolution manometry measures the strength, pressure and coordination of your esophagus' muscles. A specially trained nurse guides a small catheter through your nose and into the esophagus and instructs you to swallow small amounts of liquid at specific intervals.

Treatments for Epiphrenic (near the diaphragm) Diverticulum

  • Minimally invasive resection is a laparoscopic approach used to remove the diverticulum and simultaneously correct the underlying motility disorder that led to its development. This procedure is often coupled with a partial fundoplication to prevent reflux.

Treatments for Zenker’s (next to the throat) Diverticulum

  • Transoral stapling is an incisionless approach performed through your mouth where the faulty upper esophageal sphincter muscle is divided along with the adjoining diverticulum and esophageal walls to prevent food from accumulating. This approach is performed on an outpatient basis.
  • Transcervical resection is performed through an incision in your neck where the diverticula are removed and the upper sphincter muscle is cut.

Contact us

Call (412) 359-GERD (412) 359-4373 or (844) 412-GERD (844) 412-4373 for more information or to book a consultation.

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