Postoperative Care of Zenker Diverticula: Contemporary Perspective from the Prospective OUtcomes Cricopharyngeaus Hypertonicity (POUCH) Collaborative

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The Laryngoscope


OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to identify trends in postoperative management of persons undergoing surgery for Zenker diverticula (ZD) by evaluating length of stay (LOS), diet on discharge, and imaging with or without surgical complication.

METHODS: Prospectively enrolled adult patients with cricopharyngeal muscle dysfunction with diverticula undergoing surgery from August 1, 2017 to February 1, 2023 were included. Data were extracted from a multi-institutional REDCap database, summarizing means, medians, percentages, and frequencies. Fisher's exact or chi squared analyses were utilized, as appropriate, to compare subsets of data. Descriptive analysis assessed differences in clinical course and the relationship to postoperative management.

RESULTS: There were 298 patients with a mean (standard deviation) age of 71.8 (11.2) years and 60% male. Endoscopic surgery was performed in 79.5% (237/298) of patients versus 20.5% (61/298) open surgery. Sixty patients (20.1%) received postoperative imaging, with four leaks identified. Complications were identified in 9.4% of cases (n = 29 complications in 28 patients), more commonly in open surgery. Most (81.2%) patients were discharged within 23 h. About half of patients (49%) were discharged from the hospital on a pureed/liquid diet; 36% had been advanced to a soft diet. In patients without complications, LOS was significantly longer following open cases (p = 0.002); postoperative diet was not different between open and endoscopic (p = 0.26).

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, most patients are discharged within 23 h without imaging. However, LOS was affected by surgical approach. Postoperative complications are different in endoscopic versus open surgery. Complications with either approach were associated with prolonged LOS, need for imaging, and diet restriction.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III Laryngoscope, 2023.

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ePub ahead of print