A novel endoscopic surgery for dysphagia after stroke
Cricopharyngeal dysfunction is a relatively uncommon disorder that is widely misunderstood. Cricopharyngeal dysmotility is thought to represent abnormal function of the upper esophageal or cricopharyngeal sphincter. The cause of this dysfunction is related to uncoordinated pharyngeal swallowing, achalasia, or a combination of these factors. Unfortunately, standard diagnostic tests have not consistently demonstrated a failure of the cricopharyngeal sphincter to malfunction; therefore, cricopharyngeal myotomy has been suggested as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool in the treatment of dysmotility. Our report focuses on the current trends in the diagnosis and treatment of cricopharyngeal dysfunction. We also present a case report of a transmucosal cricopharyngeal myotomy performed with the potassium-titanyl-phosphate (KTP) laser. The KTP laser was found to be relatively safe and effective and did not demonstrate significant morbidity. Our conclusion was that a transmucosal cricopharyngeal myotomy with the KTP laser may represent a viable alternative for patients with cricopharyngeal dysmotility.