Therapeutic strategies for epiphrenic diverticula: systematic review

World J Surg. 2011 Jul;35(7):1447-53. doi: 10.1007/s00268-011-1065-z.


Most patients with epiphrenic diverticula are asymptomatic. When dysphagia or regurgitation is limited and respiratory complaints are absent, these patients usually can live with the diverticulum left in place. Fewer than one-third of the diverticula produce symptoms severe enough to seek medical attention or to warrant surgery. The purpose of this systematic review was to analyze the therapeutic strategies for epiphrenic diverticula-from a nonsurgical alternative such as endoscopic dilatation for symptomatic patients unfit for surgery, to the traditional approach of surgical resection (left thoracotomy), and finally to the minimally invasive techniques (thoracoscopy, laparoscopy) used more recently. Whatever treatment and approach are used for the patient with epiphrenic diverticula, a tailored protocol always involves detailed study of the esophageal morphology and function.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Diverticulum, Esophageal / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / methods