Results of reoperation on the upper esophageal sphincter

G. Rocco, C. Deschamps, E. Martel, A. Duranceau, V. F. Trastek, M. S. Allen, D. L. Miller, P. C. Pairolero, M. B. Orringer, N. K. Altorki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: Reoperation on the upper esophageal sphincter is infrequent. We reviewed our experience in patients who underwent reoperation on the upper esophageal sphincter. Methods: This is a retrospective report of accumulative series from 2 separate institutions. Results: From September 1, 1976, to February 28, 1997, 37 patients underwent reoperation on the upper esophageal sphincter for recurrent or persistent obstructive symptoms. There were 29 men and 8 women. The median age was 69 years (range, 38-87 years). The original indication for the operation was a pharyngoesophageal (Zenker's) diverticulum in 33 patients (89.2%), oculopharyngeal dystrophy in 3 patients (8.1%), and muscular dystrophy in 1 patient (2.7%). One prior upper esophageal sphincter operation had been performed in 26 patients (70.3%), two operations in 9 patients (24.3%), and three operations in 2 patients (5.4%). All patients were symptomatic; 35 patients (94.6%) had dysphagia; 23 patients (62.2%) had regurgitation; and 12 patients (32.4%) had episodes of aspiration. Thirty of the patients (91.0%) with Zenker's diverticulum were found to have a recurrent or persistent diverticulum at reoperation. A diverticulectomy and cricopharyngeal myotomy were performed in 23 patients (62.2%); cricopharyngeal myotomy alone, in 7 patients (18.9%); diverticulopexy and cricopharyngeal myotomy, in 6 patients (16.2%); and diverticulectomy alone, in 1 patient (2.7%). There were no operative deaths. Complications developed in 10 patients (27.0%). Follow-up was complete in 34 patients (91.9%) and ranged from 2 to 149 months (median, 39 mo). Thirty-two patients (94.1%) were improved. Functional results were classified as excellent in 26 patients (76.5%), good in 2 patients (5.9%), fair in 4 patients (11.7%), and poor in 2 patients (5.9%). Conclusions: Reoperation for patients who have persistent or recurrent symptoms after an operation on the upper esophageal sphincter is associated with acceptable morbidity and mortality rates. Resolution of symptoms occurs in most patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-31
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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