Aim: To report about the combination and advantages of a stapler-assisted diverticulotomy performed by flexible endoscopy.
Methods: From November 2014 till December 2015 17 patients (8 female, 9 male, average age 69.8 years) with a symptomatic Zenker diverticulum (mean size 3.5 cm) were treated by inserting a new 5 mm fully rotatable surgical stapler (MicroCutter30 Xchange, Cardica Inc.) next to an ultrathin flexible endoscope through an overtube. The Patients were under conscious sedation with the head reclined in left position, the stapler placed centrally and pushed forward to the bottom of the diverticulum. The septum was divided by the staple rows under flexible endoscopic control.
Results: In eleven patients (64.7%) the stapler successfully divided the septum completely. Mean procedure time was 21 min, medium size of the septum was 2.8 cm (range 1.5 cm to 4 cm). In four patients the septum was shorter than 3 cm, in seven longer than 3 cm. To divide the septum, averagely 1.3 stapler cartridges were used. Two minor bleedings occurred. Major adverse events like perforation or secondary haemorrhage did not occur. After an average time of two days patients were discharged from the hospital. In 6 patients (35.3%) the stapler failed due to a thick septum or insufficient reclination of the head. Follow up endoscopy was performed after an average of two months in 9 patients; 4 patients (44.4%) were free of symptoms, 5 patients (55.6%) stated an improvement. A relapse of symptoms did not occur.
Conclusion: Flexible endoscopic Zenker diverticulotomy by using a surgical stapler is a new, safe and efficient treatment modality. A simultaneously tissue opening and occlusion prevents major complications.
Keywords: Flexible endoscopic treatment; Overtube; Stapler technique; Surgical stapler; Zenker’s diverticulum.