Cricopharyngeal Diverticulum: Open Repair

  • Kirk Withrow
  • Daniel MorrisonEmail author


Diverticula of the hypopharynx have been recognized for over 200 years. Zenker’s diverticulum (ZD) is by far the most common with an annual incidence of 2/100,000 individuals. Specifically, ZD is an outpouching of hypopharyngeal mucosa that protrudes through a weak area at the junction of the inferior constrictor muscle and the cricopharyngeus (CP) muscle, known as Killian’s dehiscence. Historically, ZD was first recognized by Abraham Ludlow in 1796 and was named after a German pathologist, Friedrich Albert Zenker, who reported a series of ZD patients in 1877. Wheeler reported the first successful open repair of a ZD in 1882. In 1917, Mosher first introduced the concept of endoscopic treatment of ZD that has now seen tremendous advances with respect to both instrumentation and technique. The most common method used for treatment of ZD, the endoscopic staple-assisted approach, was first reported by Collard in 1993. Since then, several retrospective studies have found both open and endoscopic techniques to be highly effective with comparable complication rates and lengths of hospital stay.


Cricopharyngeal diverticulum Open repair Zenker’s diverticulum CP ZD Cervical dysphagia Cricopharyngeal myotomy 


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© SAGES 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryUniversity of Alabama-BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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