Treatment of oropharyngeal dysphagia secondary to idiopathic cricopharyngeal bar: Surgical cricopharyngeal muscle myotomy versus dilation

Alexander P. Marston, Francisco J. Maldonado, Karthik Ravi, Jan Kasperbauer, Dale C. Ekbom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Objective To compare swallowing outcomes following cricopharyngeal (CP) dilation versus surgical myotomy in patients with dysphagia secondary to idiopathic CP bar. Methods All patients had an idiopathic CP bar without a history of Zenker's diverticulum, head and neck cancer, or systemic neurologic disease treated between 2000 and 2013. The Functional Outcome Swallowing Scale (FOSS) was utilized to assess dysphagia symptoms. Results Twenty-three patients underwent 46 dilations and 20 patients had a myotomy. Nineteen of 23 (83%) patients in the dilation group and all patients in the myotomy group reported improved swallow function. The median difference in pre- versus post-intervention FOSS scores was not statistically significant (p = 0.07) between the dilation and myotomy groups with mean reductions of 1.3 and 1.8, respectively. Seventeen of 23 (74%) dilation patients had persistent or recurrent dysphagia with 13 (57%) requiring repeat dilation and 4 (17%) undergoing CP myotomy. The median time to first reintervention in the dilation group was 13.6 months. Nineteen of 20 (95%) surgical myotomy patients did not experience recurrent dysphagia. Conclusion Both endoscopic CP dilation and myotomy led to similar initial improvement in swallow function for patients with primary idiopathic CP bar; however, dilation is more likely to provide temporary benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-512
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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