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Cricopharyngeal Dysfunction - Zenker Diverticulum

What is it?

The criopharynegal muscle is the sphincter muscle of the upper esophagus. It helps with preventing stomach content from coming back up. If functioning poorly, patients may suffer from swallowing difficulties and food getting trapped in the throat. Over time a dysfunctional criopharynegal muscle may develop into what is known as a Zenker diverticulum (an abnormal pouch or sac) and worsen the ability to swallow.

How is it treated?

Therapy targets the cricopharyngeal muscle by either relaxing or cutting it. Dilation and botulinum toxin injections are often temporary while cutting the muscle, either endoscopically through the mouth or by making a small incision along the neck, leading to permanent symptom resolution.

To schedule an appointment, call 216-778-5791.

Our Doctors/Medical Providers

Mark S. Weidenbecher, MD

Mark S. Weidenbecher, MD

Otolaryngology

203 ratings / 42 reviews