Zenker's Diverticulum

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Swedish Otolaryngology

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A diverticulum is a sac or out pouching that branches off a cavity of the body. A Zenker's diverticulum (ZD) is a pouch that branches off the upper, or cervical esophagus. It is the most common type of esophageal diverticulum. Zenker's diverticula are more common in men than women and usually present in persons over 60 years of age. Symptoms may include swallowing difficulties (dysphagia), regurgitation, bad breath, weight loss, and even aspiration (the passage of food or other hazardous material into the lungs).

The diagnosis may be made by endoscopy, flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES), or more reliably, a barium esophagram. Treatment may involve surgery to repair the diverticulum.