Endoscopic stapling for pharyngeal pouch: does it make the cut?

Ahmad Aly, P Devitt, David Watson, Glyn Jamieson, Justin Bessell, Andrew Chew, Suren Krishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background:  Endoscopic stapling to treat pharyngeal pouch is a relatively new technique with the potential to reduce the morbidity associated with the open approach for pharyngeal pouch. Despite enthusiasm for the endoscopic approach there have been no series reported in Australia, and descriptions of outcomes and benefits are currently anecdotal. The aim of the present study was to determine the outcome associated with endoscopic stapling of pharyngeal pouch in an Australian setting.

Methods:  All patients admitted for endoscopic stapling for a pharyngeal pouch between 1998 and 2002 by surgeons from the Adelaide and Flinders Universities were identified, and their medical records were reviewed for clinical and operative details. All patients were interviewed by telephone using a structured questionnaire to determine symptom resolution and patient satisfaction. The Likert scale was used to assess the impact of preoperative and postoperative symptoms upon quality of life.

Results:  A total of 31 patients were identified. The mean age of the group was 75 years (range: 35–91 years) and half the patients had an American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status score of 3 or greater. In four patients the procedure was abandoned; (for three because of inability to pass the diverticuloscope and for one because the pouch was too small). Standard open surgery was undertaken in these patients. Of the 27 procedures completed endoscopically, interview follow up was obtained in 23, at a mean follow up of 17 months (range: 2–68 months). Outcome was very good or excellent in 21 (91%), with significant symptom resolution, reduction in Likert scores and high patient satisfaction. Three patients had previously had pouch surgery and endoscopic stapling was straightforward in these patients. Recurrence of a symptomatic pouch occurred in three patients. There was no significant morbidity related to the procedure.

Conclusions:  The early experience of endoscopic stapling for pharyngeal pouch in Adelaide is encouraging. The procedure achieves excellent control of symptoms and can be undertaken with minimal morbidity. Recurrence may be a problem, although repeat endoscopic stapling can be undertaken without difficulty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-121
Number of pages6
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • endoscopic
  • minimal access
  • pharyngeal diverticulum
  • stapling
  • Zenkers diverticulum


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