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Pharyngoesophageal diverticulum: a delayed complication of anterior cervical spine surgery

By Haijun Tian, Wen Yuan, Jared S. Johnson, Huajiang Chen and Deyu Chen


Pharyngoesophageal diverticulum after anterior cervical spine surgery is a rarely reported but potentially life-threatening complication. A case report of pharyngoesophageal diverticulum 7 years after anterior cervical spine surgery is presented. The patient suffered from dysphagia, odynophagia, recurrent fever, weight loss, and also an impressive bulging in the neck with swallowing. After careful examination and preparation, he underwent revision surgery via an open procedure, had the implants removed, pouch excised, and esophagus reconstructed reinforced by a sternohyoid muscle flap as well as an omohyoid muscle flap. The post-operative period was uneventful, and he experienced a satisfactory recovery. At last follow up, 2.5 years post surgery, the patient remained symptom free. Upon review of the literature, only six such previous reports with seven cases were found. Diagnostic tools, possible mechanism, correlative factors and treatment are discussed. This patient was fortunate that although his symptoms developed long after the initial anterior cervical operation and the pouch grew impressively large almost perforating, he still recovered well. It again proves the necessity of long-term X-ray follow up, and also reminds the surgeons to be alert of the possibility of esophageal injury even when the esophageal symptoms are mild and occur long after the initial operation

Topics: Case Report
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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