CRICOPHARYNGEAL MYOTOMY

Cricopharyngeal myotomy is used to treat problems of swallowing. Cricopharyngeal myotomy can be performed either through the mouth, or via a small incision on the neck.

The cricopharyngeus muscle is located at the bottom of the throat and at the top of the esophagus. It is a sphincter like muscle which circles the entire esophagus. When overly active, the cricopharyngeus muscle may cause problems such as “lump in the throat” sensation, difficulty swallowing, or contribute to a Zenker’s Diverticulum.

Cutting of the cricopharyngeus muscle is very helpful in these conditions and is performed with the patient asleep in the operating room.

In the traditional approach a cut is made on the skin and the cricopharyngeus muscle is identified. Using a knife the muscle is cut and the throat and upper esophageal sphincter relaxes. The cricopharyngeus muscle is close the recurrent laryngeal nerves. Thus a risk of this procedure is damage to this nerve, which may result in hoarseness.

Endoscopic cricopharyngeal myotomy is a minimally-invasive approach through the mouth. With the patient asleep a laryngoscope is placed through the mouth and positioned behind the voice box. The muscular cricopharygeal bulge is identified and a laser is used to cut this muscle.

Patients may be asked to not eat for a small period of time after surgery to allow proper healing to occur.

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Throatdisorder.com is an online resource for patients and physicians to learn more about common voice, swallowing, breathing and throat disorders. Throat complaints, from cough to cancer, are a common reason for patients to seek medical treatment. This website developed as a result of Dr. Sunil Verma's passions: that of education, patient care, and interest in technology.

NOTE : The information presented on this site is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified physician. It may not be appropriate to your individual case, and should not be used in making treatment decisions, especially with regard to medication. Considerable effort is made to ensure that the information on this site is accurate, but medicine is a changing field, and this website is not responsible for errors or omissions. Use of this website acknowledges the above.

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