Transoral Laser-Assisted Diverticulectomy: Swallow Study Results after Complete Endoscopic Pouch Excision for Zenker’s Diverticulum

Ryan A. McMillan, Andrew J. Bowen, Michael L. Wells, Dale C. Ekbom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Transoral endoscopic laser-assisted diverticulotomy (TELD) with diverticulectomy and diverticuloplasty (TELD + DD) for the management of Zenker’s diverticulum (ZD) has been utilized by our institution since 2016 in attempts to reduce residual pouch size. This technique involves complete endoscopic pouch excision with partial advancement of mucosal flaps. Our study compares the subjective outcomes, objective outcomes, and complication rates between TELD and TELD + DD. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed on patients who underwent TELD or TELD + DD by a single surgeon at a tertiary academic center (2013-2019). Videofluoroscopic swallow studies (VFSS) with esophagram, Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10), Reflux Symptom Index (RSI), and Functional Outcome Swallowing Scale (FOSS) were collected at preoperative and 3 month follow-up visits. A single blinded reviewer recorded height, width, and depth of pre and postoperative pouches with volumetric analysis performed assuming an ellipsoid shape. Comorbidities, complications, postoperative course, and recurrence were recorded. Results: Of the 75 patients that met criteria, 27 underwent TELD + DD and 48 underwent TELD. Eighteen TELD + DD and 37 TELD had both pre and post-operative VFSS. TELD + DD and TELD had a 96 ± 7% and 87 ± 16% reduction in pouch volume, respectively (t-test; P =.01). Complications (TELD + DD 7%, TELD 17%, fisher’s exact; P =.31) and final subjective outcomes after adjusting for initial were not significantly different between methods (EAT-10 with TELD + DD ∆ + 1.3, P =.18; RSI ∆ + 1.4, P =.29; FOSS ∆-0.02, P =.91). One short-term recurrence was reported with TELD. Conclusion: Use of TELD + DD is associated with a statistically significantly decreased residual pouch size with no significant difference in short-term subjective outcomes. Complication rates and short-term recurrence rates are comparable. Long-term recurrence rates will require further studies to characterize. Level of Evidence: Level 3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Zenker’s diverticulum
  • dysphagia surgery
  • imaging
  • swallowing/dysphagia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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