Zenker’s Diverticulum

What is Zenker's Diverticulum?

An abnormal, pouch-like structure that forms where the pharynx and esophagus meet. Swallowing requires a complex coordination of muscles in the mouth, pharynx and esophagus. If one or more of these muscles isn’t working properly, pressure can build up and cause a weak part of the pharynx wall to balloon out. Over time, the pouch can grow large enough to collect swallowed foods.


What causes Zenker's Diverticulum?

Acid reflux and advanced age likely play a role in Zenker’s. Symptoms may include difficulty swallowing, regurgitation, bad breath, hoarseness, persistent cough and more. Some people find they must resort to special maneuvers to empty the pouch, like turning their head and pressing a specific spot on the neck. If left untreated, symptoms can get worse with time.


Treatments


Swallowing And Reflux Program

Are you like one in five Americans who have trouble swallowing or suffer from Acid Reflux? Click below to see how Hartford HealthCare is prepared to help you.


Meet Our Zenker's Diverticulum Specialists

Name Specialties Location
Kachala, Stefan, MD 860.696.4923
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • General Surgery
Show Less
  • New Britain
  • Hartford
  • Meriden
Show Less

Digestive Health Center