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Surgical treatment of Zenker diverticulum: diverticulopexy versus diverticulectomy

BACKGROUND: Pharyngoesophageal diverticulum, known as Zenker, is an acquired herniation in the pharyngeal mucous through a muscular defect between the oblique fibers of the constrictor muscle of the pharynx and the transverse fibers of the cricopharyngeal muscle. AIM: A non-randomized retrospective study was performed, comparing the results of the diverticulopexy and diverticulectomy, both associated to the cricopharyngeal myotomy, in the Zenker diverticulum treatment. METHODS: Forty patients were submitted to surgical treatment between 1989 and 2003, of which 38 (95%) were followed. Twenty-eight patients were males (70%), with an average age of 62,5 years (21 to 85 years). Twenty-four patients (60%) were submitted to diverticulopexy or elevation, and sixteen to the diverticulectomy or resection, through left cervicotomy, followed by cricopharyngeal myotomy. RESULTS: Excellent results (Visick I) were found in 84,6% of the patients submitted to the diverticulectomy and 66,6% of the patients submitted to the diverticulopexy. General analysis showed that 27 cases (11 resections and 16 elevations - 72,9%) presented Visick I; 8 cases (2 resections and 6 elevations - 21,6%) presented Visick II; and 2 cases (elevations - 5,4%) presented Visick III. No cases were registered under Visick IV classification. The incidence of postoperative complications recorded in the two groups was similar (P > 0,05). The presence of malignant neoplasia was verified in a case submitted to resection (2,5%). CONCLUSION: The cricopharyngeal myotomy and diverticulopexy is suitable in geriatric patients, small diverticulum, and patients with operatory risk. Diverticulectomy is a good option in cases of larger diverticulum and young patients to prevent the risk of malignant transformation. This casuistic presented better results with diverticulectomy than diverticulopexy.

Diverticulum; Esophagus; Zenker; Myotomy

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