The endoscopic approach is a simple and cost-effective option in the treatment of hypopharyngeal diverticula. Whereas almost a third of all endoscopic myotomies performed by UK otolaryngologists are carried out with the stapling technique, CO2 laser diverticulotomy has not been given as much consideration (Koay et al., in press).
We report on the first British series of 15 patients treated between 1985 and 1993 with microscopic laser diverticulotomy. The follow-up period was four to 11 years. Complications occurred in three patients, two patients required a repeat myotomy and 11 patients have been satisfied with their swallow since the operation.
Our results are similar to those of larger studies. The laser technique is more established than the stapling gun myotomy and it has the advantage of superior visualization. It may also be used in small pouches which do not admit the insertion of a stapling gun.