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Zenker's Diverticulum

Zenker's diverticulum is a pouch at the back of the throat, above the cricopharyngeal muscle(where the pharynx and esophagus join). This muscle can malfunction (fail to relax or open easily), resulting in an out-pouching of the posterior wall of the pharynx, just above the esophagus. Food and saliva will accumulate in the pouch over time and the pouch will grow in size.

By Farzaneh Banki, M.D.

References:

1. Brinster CJ , Singhal S, Lee L, Marshall MB, Kaiser LR and Kucharczuk JC. Evolving options in the management of esophageal perforation. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 77(4), April 2004, Pages 1475-1483
2. Freeman RK, Van Woerkom JM, Vyverberg A, Ascioti AJ. Esophageal stent placement for the treatment of spontaneous esophageal perforations. Ann Thorac Surg. 2009 Jul;88(1):194-8.
3. Sharma P, Kozarek R, and the Practice Parameters Committee of the American College of Gastroenterology. Role of Esophageal Stents in Benign and Malignant Diseases. Am J Gastroenterol 2010; 105:258–273