Endoscopic stapling has become the primary procedure for pharyngeal pouch surgery because it is quick, less invasive and safe, but less is known about long-term outcomes.
Medical records were reviewed to compare rates of morbidity, operative failure, symptom control and revision surgery between open and closed procedures.
A total of 120 pharyngeal pouch procedures, carried out on 97 patients from 2000 to 2014, were studied. These included 80 endoscopic stapling and 40 open procedures. Twelve patients had complications (15 per cent) and there was one mortality (1.2 per cent) in the endoscopic stapling group. Ten patients (25 per cent) developed complications in the open procedure group, with no mortalities. Symptom recurrence was significantly greater in the endoscopic stapling group (26 per cent) than in the open procedure group (7.5 per cent). Multiple surgical procedures were required for 22 endoscopically stapled patients (32 per cent); none were required in the open procedure group. Although the male-to-female ratio for pharyngeal pouch incidence was 2:1, the ratio for multiple surgical procedures was 10:1.
Endoscopic stapling outcomes are not as good as those following an open approach on long-term follow up, and the early advantages are eliminated if pouch excision is avoided.
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