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.