Northland DHB Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT)
Public Service, ENT/ Head & Neck Surgery
A pharyngeal pouch or Zenkers Diverticulum is an outpouching of the pharynx at the level of the larynx (voice box). It occurs in older people and is a result of scarring of a band of muscle at the top of the oesophagus called the cricopharyngeus. This muscle usually relaxes during swallowing but because of the scarring it remains tight. The pressure created with the swallow causes the lining of the throat above to bulge out through a weaker area of muscle above the cricopharyngeus called Killians Dehiscence.
Surgery is the only treatment for pharyngeal pouch. There are a variety of surgical approaches split into two main groups: endoscopic and external approaches.