Center for Minimally Invasive Esophageal Therapies
Endoscopic Transoral Stapling
At the Center for Minimally Invasive Esophageal Therapies at Boston Medical Center, we specialize in the latest and most effective management techniques for Zenker's diverticulum, including endoscopic transoral stapling. Our team of highly trained and experienced specialists takes a collaborative approach to your treatment. We draw on medical expertise, state-of-the-art facilities and a patient-centered environment to provide you with not only the best medicine but also the best medical care in New England.
Zenker's diverticulum is a condition characterized by the formation of a pouch the lower throat from the upper esophagus. It develops because a muscle in the upper esophagus fails to relax normally when you swallow.
As a result, food can pass into the pouch rather than down the esophagus into the stomach, filling the pouch with food particles. This may affect your ability to absorb nutrients and medications and also may lead to regurgitation of undigested food. Endoscopic stapling is a minimally invasive treatment for Zenker's diverticulum that involves the use of a stapling device to divide the abnormal muscle causing the sac to form and helps prevent food from accumulating.
How to Prepare
Tell your doctor if you have any allergies to medication or have had problems with anesthesia. Your doctor will give you any specific instructions about dietary or activity restrictions, as well as whether or not you should take your regular medications on the day of the procedure. You will be asked to not eat or drink after midnight on the night before your procedure. You may wish to ask a friend or family member to drive you to your procedure.
What to Expect
Your procedure will be performed in the operating room and requires general anesthesia. After you are under anesthesia, your doctor will insert an endoscope (a flexible lighted tube used to look at the throat and esophagus) into your mouth and advance it to where the diverticulum is located. Your doctor will staple the muscle that is causing the sac to form. This muscle also forms one wall of the sac. By dividing this muscle, there is no longer any resistance to food passing down the esophagus, and no longer a pouch for food to collect in. The procedure generally takes 45 to 60 minutes to perform.
After your procedure, you will be taken to a recovery area until you are awake and alert. Typically, patients are discharged home the next day after surgery.