, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 339–344 | Cite as

Changes in Swallowing-related Quality of Life After Endoscopic Treatment For Zenker’s Diverticulum Using SWAL-QOL Questionnaire

  • C. Colpaert
  • O. M. Vanderveken
  • K. Wouters
  • P. Van de Heyning
  • C. Van Laer
Review Article


Dysphagia affects the most cardinal of human functions: the ability to eat and drink. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate swallowing dysfunction in patients diagnosed with Zenker’s diverticulum using the Swallowing Quality of Life (SWAL-QOL) questionnaire preoperatively. In addition, SWAL-QOL was used to assess changes in the outcome of swallowing function after endoscopic treatment of Zenker’s diverticulum compared to baseline. Pre- and postoperative SWAL-QOL data were analyzed in 25 patients who underwent endoscopic treatment of Zenker’s diverticulum between January 2011 and December 2013. Patients were treated by different endoscopic techniques, depending on the size of the diverticulum: CO2 laser technique or stapler technique, or the combination of both techniques used in larger diverticula. Their mean age was 69 years, and 28% of patients were female. The mean interval between endoscopic surgery and completion of the postoperative SWAL-QOL was 85 days. The median (min–max) preoperative total SWAL-QOL score was 621 (226–925) out of 1100, indicating the perception of oropharyngeal dysphagia and diminished quality of life. Following endoscopic treatment of Zenker’s diverticulum, significant improvement was demonstrated in the postoperative total SWAL-QOL score of 865 (406–1072) out of 1100 (p < 0.001). On the majority of subscales of SWAL-QOL there was significant improvement between pre- and postoperative scores. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report in the literature on the changes in pre- and postoperative SWAL-QOL scores for patients with Zenker’s diverticulum before and after treatment. The results of this study indicate that endoscopic treatment of Zenker’s diverticulum leads to significant symptom relief as documented by significant changes in the majority of the SWAL-QOL domains.


Pharyngeal pouch Dysphagia Symptom relief Questionnaire Deglutition Deglutition disorders 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Colpaert
    • 1
    • 3
  • O. M. Vanderveken
    • 1
    • 3
  • K. Wouters
    • 2
    • 3
  • P. Van de Heyning
    • 1
    • 3
  • C. Van Laer
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head & Neck SurgeryAntwerp University HospitalEdegemBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Scientific Coordination and BiostatisticsAntwerp University HospitalEdegemBelgium
  3. 3.Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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