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Endoscopic surgery is easier to swallow

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2001 - Spring


People with a common swallowing disorder can now be treated at Yale using a procedure that is markedly less invasive than the conventional surgery through the neck. The surgery is used to treat Zenker’s diverticulum, which occurs when the lining of the mucous membrane protrudes through the muscular wall just below the voice box in the high esophagus. Food easily becomes trapped in the pouch, making it difficult to swallow. Using an endoscopic procedure popularized at Duke called stapler-assisted diverticulostomy, the surgeons remove the pouch through the mouth and repair the lining with a stapler. The procedure is a breakthrough, according to Douglas A. Ross, M.D., associate professor of surgery and otolaryngology, who performs the surgery along with colleague Clarence T. Sasaki, M.D. ’66, HS ’73, the Charles W. Ohse Professor of Surgery and chief of the otolaryngology section.

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