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Treatment of epiphrenic and mid-esophageal diverticula

Opinion statement

Thoracic esophageal diverticula are uncommon. They account for less than 30% of esophageal diverticula. The majority of patients are asymptomatic or have minimal symptoms. About one third of patients present with severe symptoms. Occasionally, pulmonary symptoms can be the sole manifestation of the disease and can be life threatening. Dysphagia, food regurgitation, chest pain, weight loss, and reflux symptoms are the most commonly encountered gastrointestinal symptoms. Malignancy is a rare complication of esophageal diverticula; therefore, patients should be educated regarding this complication. Appropriate diagnostic tests should be arranged promptly if alarming symptoms develop. Esophageal motor disorders are found in the majority of patients and need to be taken into account when planning therapy. Medical and endoscopic therapies have limited roles in treatment. Surgery is the standard of care for patients with pulmonary or incapacitating symptoms related to an epiphrenic diverticulum, and myotomy is the cornerstone of surgery. To ensure complete relief of the obstruction, the myotomy should extend distally at least 1.5 to 2 cm into the stomach and proximally at least to the neck of diverticulum. Adding a nonobstructing entireflux procedure is recommended to prevent the development of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Occasionally, a specific treatment such as a diverticulectomy or diverticulopexy needs to be directed to the diverticulum. Preliminary treatment results from minimally invasive surgery, especially laparoscopy, have been promising. In the future with increased experience, minimally invasive surgery may become the standard of care.

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Michael, H., Fisher, R.S. Treatment of epiphrenic and mid-esophageal diverticula. Curr Treat Options Gastro 7, 41–52 (2004).

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  • Achalasia
  • Main Side Effect
  • Trazodone
  • Main Drug Interaction
  • Isosorbide Dinitrate