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Epiphrenic Diverticulum: 20-Year Single-Institution Experience

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Epiphrenic diverticula are pulsion-type outpouchings of the distal esophagus associated with motility disorders. They can present with chronic symptoms of dysphagia, regurgitation, reflux, and aspiration. A prospectively collected surgical outcomes database was queried for patients who underwent surgical treatment of epiphrenic diverticula at a single institution between August 1997 and August 2018. Patient demographics, presenting symptoms, operative intervention, and perioperative data were retrospectively reviewed. Twenty-seven patients with a symptomatic epiphrenic diverticulum were identified. Abnormal esophageal motility was diagnosed in 16 patients (59.2%), most commonly achalasia (29.6%). All patients had a minimally invasive (26 laparoscopic, one thoracoscopic) diverticulectomy with no conversions to open required. Concurrent myotomy was performed in 88.9 per cent patients and anti-reflux procedure in 85.2 per cent patients. There was minimal morbidity with no esophageal leaks, mortalities, or recurrent diverticula noted after 35.8 months of follow-up. Dysphagia was the most common persistent symptom and occurred in 11.1 per cent; overall resolution of symptoms was achieved with surgery in 89.9 per cent of patients. As minimally invasive techniques have advanced, laparoscopic diverticulectomy seems to be an excellent surgical approach for symptomatic epiphrenic diverticula. Long-term resolution of symptoms was achieved in most patients, with a very low complication rate.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2018

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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