Publications by authors named "Richard L Scher"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Trends in Otolaryngology Consultation Patterns at an Academic Quaternary Care Center.

JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2017 05;143(5):472-477

Division of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences, Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.

Importance: The consultation patterns of an otolaryngology-head and neck surgery service have not previously been reported. The time, resources, and attention required to operate such a consultation service are unknown.

Objective: To assess trends in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery consultations conducted in emergency departments (EDs) and inpatient services.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A retrospective analysis was conducted of the medical records of patients at a quaternary care center receiving inpatient otolaryngology consultations from January 1 to December 31, 2014.

Exposure: Clinical evaluation and bedside and operative procedures performed by the otolaryngology-head and neck surgery service.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Demographics, reason for consultation, diagnosis, bedside procedures, operative interventions, and admission variables.

Results: A total of 1491 consultations were completed for adult (1091 [73.2%]; 854 men and 637 women; mean [SD] age 50.3 [19.3] years) and pediatric (400 [26.8%]; 232 boys and 168 girls; mean [SD] age, 4.0 [5.2] years) patients. Of the 1491 consultations, 766 (51.4%) originated from inpatient teams vs 725 (48.6%) from the ED. A total of 995 of all consultations (66.7%) resulted in a bedside procedure, and 243 (16.3%) required operative intervention. Consultations regarding airway evaluation (362 [47.3%] vs 143 [19.7%]), management of epistaxis (78 [10.2%] vs 33 [4.6%]), and rhinologic evaluation (79 [10.3%] vs 18 [2.5%]) were more frequent from inpatient teams than from the ED. Consultations regarding management of head and neck infections (162 [22.3%] vs 32 [4.2%]), facial trauma (235 [32.4%] vs 16 [2.1%]), and postoperative complications (73 [10.1%] vs 2 [0.3%]) were more frequent in the ED. Of the 725 consultations performed in the ED, 212 patients (29.2%) required hospitalization.

Conclusions And Relevance: The consultation volume of an otolaryngology-head and neck surgery service requires significant time and resources. Consultations are most often for rhinologic or laryngologic issues and are reflective of the clinical setting in which the patient is evaluated. Cost savings may be realized by increasing health care access points for nonurgent concerns that can be evaluated in an outpatient setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoto.2016.4056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5824312PMC
May 2017

Zenker Diverticulum and Clinical Controversies in Otolaryngology: Which Surgical Approach Is Superior?

Authors:
Richard L Scher

JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2016 Apr;142(4):403-4

Duke University Health System, Durham, North Carolina.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoto.2015.3387DOI Listing
April 2016

Endoscopic staple diverticulostomy for Zenker's diverticulum: review of experience in 337 cases.

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2015 Jan 15;124(1):21-9. Epub 2014 Jul 15.

Duke University Hospital, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Objective: Surgical treatment of Zenker's diverticulum (ZD) has evolved over the previous 2 decades to a predominantly endoscopic approach. In this study, we review our experience with endoscopic staple-assisted diverticulostomy (ESD) for treatment of ZD from 2002 to 2011.

Methods: Retrospective chart review of 359 primary and revision ESD procedures performed on 337 unique patients between September 2002 and December 2011. Data were tabulated for age, sex, size of diverticulum, time to symptom recurrence, complications, and relief of symptoms.

Results: Of 337 attempted primary ESD procedures, 3.9% (N = 13) were aborted due to inadequate exposure. Of 324 patients who underwent primary ESD, 93.8% (N = 304) reported postoperative improvement of dysphagia symptoms. There was a 4.0% (N = 13) major complication rate. Patient-reported recurrence of symptoms occurred in 7.1% (N = 23) of primary ESD patients but was not significantly associated with diverticulum size (P = .9765). Twenty-one patients underwent revision ESD, with 95% (N = 20) of patients reporting improvement and 4.8% (N = 1) developing recurrent symptoms.

Conclusion: Primary and revision ESD were shown to have similar success at relieving the symptoms of ZD, with low procedure abandonment and perioperative complication rates. Further patient follow-up is needed to determine the durability of symptom improvement and ZD recurrence rate following ESD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0003489414542421DOI Listing
January 2015

Utility of Intraoperative Frozen Sections during Thyroid Surgery.

Int J Otolaryngol 2013 21;2013:496138. Epub 2013 Jan 21.

Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

Objective. To describe the usefulness of intraoperative frozen section in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid nodules where fine needle aspirate biopsies have evidence of follicular neoplasm. Study Design. Retrospective case series. Methods. All patients have a fine needle aspirate biopsy, an intraoperative frozen section, and final pathology performed on a thyroid nodule after initiation of the Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology in 2009 at a single tertiary referral center. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value are calculated in order to determine added benefit of frozen section to original fine needle aspirate data. Results. The sensitivity and specificity of the frozen section were 76.9% and 67.9%, respectively, while for the fine needle aspirate were 53.8% and 74.1%, respectively. The positive and negative predictive values for the fine needle aspirates were 25% and 90.9%, respectively, while for the frozen sections were 27.8% and 94.8%, respectively. There were no changes in the operative course as a consequence of the frozen sections. Conclusion. Our data does not support the clinical usefulness of intraoperative frozen section when the fine needle aspirate yields a Bethesda Criteria diagnosis of follicular neoplasm, suspicious for follicular neoplasm, or suspicious for malignancy at our institution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/496138DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3563233PMC
February 2013

Prospective trial of synchronous bevacizumab, erlotinib, and concurrent chemoradiation in locally advanced head and neck cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2012 Mar 17;18(5):1404-14. Epub 2012 Jan 17.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.

Purpose: We assessed the safety and efficacy of synchronous VEGF and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) blockade with concurrent chemoradiation (CRT) in locally advanced head and neck cancer (HNC).

Experimental Design: Newly diagnosed patients with stage III/IV HNC received a 2-week lead-in of bevacizumab and/or erlotinib, followed by both agents with concurrent cisplatin and twice daily radiotherapy. Safety was assessed using Common Toxicity Criteria version 3.0. The primary efficacy endpoint was clinical complete response (CR) rate after CRT.

Results: Twenty-nine patients enrolled on study, with 27 completing therapy. Common grade III toxicities were mucositis (n = 14), dysphagia (n = 8), dehydration (n = 7), osteoradionecrosis (n = 3), and soft tissue necrosis (n = 2). Feeding tube placement was required in 79% but no patient remained dependent at 12-month posttreatment. Clinical CR after CRT was 96% [95% confidence interval (CI), 82%-100%]. Median follow-up was 46 months in survivors, with 3-year locoregional control and distant metastasis-free survival rates of 85% and 93%. Three-year estimated progression-free survival, disease-specific survival, and overall survival rates were 82%, 89%, and 86%, respectively. Dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) analysis showed that patients who had failed had lower baseline pretreatment median K(trans) values, with subsequent increases after lead-in therapy and 1 week of CRT. Patients who did not fail had higher median K(trans) values that decreased during therapy.

Conclusions: Dual VEGF/EGFR inhibition can be integrated with CRT in locally advanced HNC, with efficacy that compares favorably with historical controls albeit with an increased risk of osteoradionecrosis. Pretreatment and early DCE-MRI may prospectively identify patients at high risk of failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-1982DOI Listing
March 2012

Organ and function preservation: the role of surgery as the optimal primary modality or as salvage after chemoradiation failure.

Semin Radiat Oncol 2009 Jan;19(1):17-23

Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Duke University Health System, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

The treatment for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the head and neck has advanced considerably with the use of multimodality therapy including radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. Efforts to achieve greater rates of disease control and survival have been coupled with attempts to reduce acute and chronic toxicity and preserve function. In the setting of advanced-stage disease, these goals have typically been achieved via the use of combined radiation and chemotherapy. Although very effective, (chemo)radiation does not always succeed and may not offer benefits to the patient equal to those achieved with surgical resection and reconstruction. This article discusses the issues involved in the selection of surgical therapy both for the primary treatment of SCC of the head and neck and for salvage of disease persistence or recurrence after chemoradiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.semradonc.2008.09.004DOI Listing
January 2009

Preoperative radiotherapy and bevacizumab for angiosarcoma of the head and neck: two case studies.

Head Neck 2008 Feb;30(2):262-6

Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Background: Angiosarcoma of the face is a vascular tumor with poor local control and short median survival despite standard treatment. Bevacizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which can inhibit tumor growth. It is synergistic with radiotherapy in gastrointestinal malignancies. Given the vascular nature of angiosarcoma and the need for better treatment of this disease, we investigated the concurrent use of bevacizumab with preoperative radiotherapy for head and neck angiosarcoma.

Methods: Two patients diagnosed with angiosarcoma of the nose were treated preoperatively with bevacizumab (5-10 mg/kg) and concurrent radiotherapy (50 Gy), followed by resection of the tumor bed.

Results: Both patients had a complete pathologic response with no residual disease. Neither has developed recurrence, with follow-up of 8.5 months and 2.1 years.

Conclusions: The neoadjuvant combination of bevacizumab and radiation therapy is promising and should be further studied in the setting of vascular malignancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hed.20674DOI Listing
February 2008

Role of nitric oxide in the development of distant metastasis from squamous cell carcinoma.

Authors:
Richard L Scher

Laryngoscope 2007 Feb;117(2):199-209

Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Duke University Health System, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.

Background: Metastasis, the dissemination of malignant cells to distant sites, remains one of the most significant factors responsible for death from cancer. Recent studies have shown some improvement in the rate of distant metastasis (DM) with the addition of chemotherapy to surgery and radiation for treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, diagnosis and treatment at an early stage ultimately leads to a better prognosis. The prediction of which patients will develop metastasis and the selection of treatment most effective at preventing and treating metastasis remains dependent on an incomplete understanding of prognostic factors and the biological and molecular basis for metastatic development. This study was undertaken using an in vivo model to investigate the possible role of nitric oxide (NO) in the development of metastasis from HNSCC. The findings will result in better understanding of the metastatic process for HNSCC, with the potential to develop and implement therapies that could prevent and treat metastasis in patients.

Objectives/hypothesis: 1) To analyze whether in vivo videomicroscopy (IVVM) is useful for the study of DM from squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck; 2) with use of IVVM, investigate the effect of the biological mediators NO and interleukin (IL)-1 on the adhesion of circulating human HNSCC cells in the hepatic microcirculation.

Study Design: Prospective study using an animal model.

Methods: Phase 1: athymic nude rats and mice were used for IVVM experiments. The cremaster muscle and liver, used as arterial and venous flow models, were tested to determine whether IVVM was useful for the study of human HNSCC interactions with the microcirculation. A human squamous cell carcinoma cell line (FaDu) labeled with the intracytoplasmic fluorescent marker BCECF-am. was used for all experiments. Videomicroscopic images of FaDu cells in the microcirculation were analyzed for cell adhesion, morphology, deformation, circulation, location of adhesion within the microcirculation, and alteration of microvascular circulation. Phase 2: the effect of IL-1, NO, and NO inhibitors on HNSCC cell adhesion in the hepatic microcirculation of nude mice was analyzed by IVVM. This was followed by histologic determination of the ratio of FaDu cells present for liver area analyzed. Nude mice were treated with 1) IL-1; 2) L-arginine (an NO substrate); or 3) L-N-monomethyl-L-arginine (an NO synthase inhibitor) alone or in combination. These data were analyzed statistically to determine the effect on cell adhesion in the liver.

Results: IVVM provided a method for the study of circulating HNSCC with the microcirculation in both the cremaster and liver models. FaDu cells were arrested at the inflow side of the circulation, with maintenance of cell integrity. L-arginine and IL-1 both increased FaDu cell arrest in the liver above baseline (P = .00008 and P = .03), and the combination of these agents potentiated the effect (P = .000009).

Conclusions: IVVM allows direct assessment of circulating HNSCC with the microcirculation and is a powerful model for the study of DM. NO and IL-1 play a role in increasing the arrest of HNSCC in the liver and are important in the generation of DM in patients with HNSCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MLG.0b013e31802c6e83DOI Listing
February 2007

Radiology quiz case. Antrochoanal polyp (ACP).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2006 May;132(5):559-60

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archotol.132.5.559DOI Listing
May 2006

Barium esophagogram of a Zenker's diverticulopexy.

Ear Nose Throat J 2006 Apr;85(4):230, 232

Fauquier Ear, Nose, and Throat Consultants, Warrenton, VA, USA.

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April 2006

Radiology quiz case 2. Prestyloid parapharyngeal space pleomorphic adenoma.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2005 Jun;131(6):535, 537-8

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archotol.131.6.535DOI Listing
June 2005

Necessity for adjuvant neck dissection in setting of concurrent chemoradiation for advanced head-and-neck cancer.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2004 Apr;58(5):1418-23

Department of Radiation Oncology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

Purpose: Neck dissection has traditionally played an important role in the treatment of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck who present with regionally advanced neck disease (N2-N3). Radiotherapy and concurrent chemotherapy improves overall survival in advanced head-and-neck cancer compared with radiotherapy alone. The necessity for postchemoradiation neck dissection is controversial. The intent of this report was to define the value of neck dissection in this patient population better.

Methods And Materials: Patients with locally advanced squamous carcinoma of the head and neck who also presented with nodal disease and underwent hyperfractionated radiotherapy and concurrent cisplatin/5-fluorouracil chemotherapy constituted the study population. Adjuvant modified neck dissection (MND) was planned 6 to 8 weeks after completion of chemoradiation in those patients who had a biopsy-proven pathologically complete response at the primary tumor site, irrespective of the clinical/radiographic neck response. A cohort of patients underwent electrode assessment of tumor oxygenation. Pathologic findings from the MND were used to compute the negative and positive predictive values and overall accuracy of the clinical/radiographic response (cCR). Regional control, failure-free survival, and survival were compared according to whether patients actually underwent MND.

Results: A total of 154 patients received concurrent chemoradiation. Of these, 108 presented with nodal disease: N1, n = 30; and N2-N3, n = 78. MND was performed in 65 (60%) of 108 patients, including 13 (43%) of 30 with Stage N1 and 52 (66%) of 78 with Stage N2-N3. For N1 patients, the negative predictive value of a cCR, positive predictive value of less than a cCR, and the overall accuracy for clinical response was 92%, 100%, and 92%, respectively. For N2-N3 patients, the corresponding values were 74%, 44%, and 60%. Patients with poorly oxygenated tumors were more likely to have residual disease at MND. The median follow-up was 4 years. The 4-year disease-free survival rate was 70% for N1 patients, irrespective of the clinical response or whether MND was performed. The 4-year disease-free survival rate was 75% for N2-N3 patients who had a cCR and underwent MND vs. 53% for patients who had a cCR but did not undergo MND (p = 0.08). The 4-year overall survival rate was 77% vs. 50% for these two groups of patients (p = 0.04).

Conclusion: The clinical and pathologic responses in the neck correlated poorly with one another for patients with N2-N3 neck disease undergoing concurrent chemoradiation for advanced head-and-neck cancer. MND still appears to confer a disease-free survival and overall survival advantage with acceptably low morbidity. Tumor oxygenation assessment may be useful in selecting patients who are especially prone to have residual disease. Better tools need to be developed to determine prospectively whether this procedure is required for individual patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2003.09.004DOI Listing
April 2004

Clinical implications of radionecrosis to the head and neck surgeon.

Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2003 Apr;11(2):103-6

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27709, USA.

Radiation necrosis is one of the most serious complications in the treatment of malignancies of the head and neck. As radiotherapy becomes more frequently used as a primary modality and in combination with chemotherapy and surgery, the head and neck surgeon needs to be able to prevent and recognize the often subtle signs and symptoms of radiation necrosis. The symptoms of necrosis can mimic the recurrence of cancer, which presents a diagnostic dilemma, because aggressive surgical biopsy may worsen necrosis and contribute to the formation of a fistula. This review provides a brief discussion of the diagnostic and treatment options for osteoradionecrosis and chondroradionecrosis in the head and neck.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00020840-200304000-00007DOI Listing
April 2003

Malignant hyperthermia and the otolaryngologist.

Ear Nose Throat J 2003 Jun;82(6):433-6

Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3805, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

Malignant hyperthermia is a rare disorder that can occur in patients who are sensitive to certain agents used in general anesthesia. The treatment of malignant hyperthermia has not changed over the years, but prevention strategies have evolved. These strategies include an increased emphasis on how patients are managed prior to a surgical procedure, on the selection of the particular anesthetic agent, and on postoperative vigilance. Susceptible patients who undergo simple excisions or a low degree of surgical stress can receive treatment safely in the office or ambulatory surgery center and be discharged the same day, provided that all known triggering agents are avoided. For more extensive procedures that cause a moderate level of surgical stress to susceptible patients, facilities for managing malignant hyperthermia should be readily available. Susceptible patients who undergo high-stress invasive procedures should be hospitalized. Routine preoperative prophylactic drug administration, even with dantrolene, is no longer considered necessary for any susceptible patients. All local anesthetics--including lidocaine, which had been previously contraindicated--are now considered to be safe for use in patients who are susceptible to malignant hyperthermia. In this article, we review the prevention, diagnosis, and management of malignant hyperthermia. We also report our experience in anesthetizing a patient who had a history of malignant hyperthermia--a case that illustrates the uncertainty that can complicate the management of such patients.
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June 2003

Endoscopic staple diverticulostomy for Zenker's diverticulum: review of literature and experience in 159 consecutive cases.

Laryngoscope 2003 Jun;113(6):957-65

Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.

Objectives/hypothesis: Several reports since the early 1990s have advocated a minimally invasive technique, endoscopic staple diverticulostomy (ESD), to treat Zenker's diverticulum. However, long-term results and comparisons with the reported experience with external or other endoscopic approaches have been lacking in the literature. We present follow-up on our experience with ESD since 1995 and compare it with the results obtained by other endoscopic or external techniques for treatment of Zenker's diverticulum.

Study Design: Retrospective review of 159 consecutive ESD procedures performed on 150 unique patients with Zenker's diverticulum between March 1995 and August 2002. Telephone interviews of patients were conducted to assess long-term treatment outcome. Review of the literature was performed by Ovid MEDLINE search for all reports on the surgical treatment of Zenker's diverticulum in the English language between January 1990 and August 2002.

Methods: Data were retrospectively reviewed and information was tabulated for age, sex, size of diverticulum, symptoms, duration of symptoms, operative time, length of hospital stay, time before oral intake, complications, and relief of symptoms at first postoperative visit. Follow-up interviews of patients were conducted to assess current status of symptoms and, if any symptoms returned, how many months after the procedure they recurred. All case series in the literature in the English language since 1990 that were found in the Ovid MEDLINE database and referenced from identified articles were also tabulated for the same information.

Results: At the time of initial follow-up after ESD, 98% of patients reported complete or improved symptoms. Average hospital stay was 0.76 days, with a diet started on postoperative day 0.25. There was a 2.0% significant complication rate without mortality. Further follow-up (average, 32.2 mo) identified a recurrence rate of 11.8%. On review of the literature, patients who underwent ESD had shorter perioperative courses, quicker return to diet, and lower complication and mortality rates compared with external procedures. ESD had comparable operative times and mortality rates, but fewer complications and more rapid convalescent times compared with other endoscopic procedures. Recurrence rates were found to be variable.

Conclusions: Overall, ESD is an outpatient procedure with few complications. The technique has a faster operative and convalescence period with fewer complication rates compared with other endoscopic or external transcervical approaches. The results in the present study and those reported in the English language literature advocate that ESD be the initial preferred treatment for Zenker's diverticulum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00005537-200306000-00009DOI Listing
June 2003

Pathology quiz case 1. Hairy polyp.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2003 Mar;129(3):369, 371

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archotol.129.3.369DOI Listing
March 2003

Endoscopic staple diverticulostomy for recurrent Zenker's diverticulum.

Authors:
Richard L Scher

Laryngoscope 2003 Jan;113(1):63-7

Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the technical feasibility, effectiveness, and morbidity of using endoscopic staple diverticulostomy (ESD) as treatment for Zenker's diverticulum (ZD) recurring after either prior endoscopic treatment or external diverticulectomy or diverticulopexy.

Study Design: A retrospective review of a case series of 18 patients with recurrent ZD.

Methods: All patients cared for with ZD were evaluated to identify those patients with recurrent ZD. The clinical records of patients with recurrent ZD were reviewed for: demographics, prior treatment, time to recurrence, factors associated with recurrence, technical feasibility of treatment, complications, effectiveness and duration of symptom relief.

Results: Between March 1995 and July 2001, a total of 127 consecutive patients with ZD received care. Eighteen of these patients were treated for recurrent ZD: nine treated originally by ESD, and nine by external approach (seven by diverticulectomy and two by diverticulopexy), with three of these patients treated twice. Seventeen patients had partial or complete relief of symptoms after their initial treatment, with recurrence of symptoms noted 0 to 60 months later. Specific factors associated with recurrence of symptoms were identified in only one patient. Treatment of recurrent ZD by ESD was technically feasible in 16 of the patients. Complete or improved symptom relief has been reported by 16 of the patients after revision ESD, with follow-up from 9 to 69 months. No significant treatment complications occurred. Fifteen patients resumed clear liquid diet on the day of surgery, and one on the day after surgery. All patients were discharged from the hospital by the second postoperative day (mean = 0.6 d).

Conclusions: ESD is an effective, technically feasible, and safe treatment for patients with ZD recurring after prior endoscopic or external treatment, and it should be the initial treatment of choice for these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00005537-200301000-00012DOI Listing
January 2003