Objective: To illustrate the safety and efficacy of the endoscopic laser approach for cricopharyngeal myotomy (CPM) compared to the traditional transcervical approach. Study design and setting: Retrospective chart review of 22 patients undergoing CPM from 1996 to 2003 at the Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville. Results: The laser CPM technique was used in 14 patients, and an open approach in 8. The mean hospital stay and operative times were shorter for the laser group. Functional outcome analyses showed improvement in both groups. There were no major complications in the laser group, while 1 patient in the transcervical group had a pharyngocutaneous fistula. Conclusions: The laser technique is at least as effective as the transcervical approach for CPM to improve dysphagia symptoms in the properly selected patient, with a low risk of major complications. Significance: In this report, we provide the reader with data to support the safety and efficacy of laser CPM. EBM rating: B-3b.
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