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Zenker’s diverticulum is a rare condition that makes it difficult to swallow food and liquids. In this disorder, a large pouch (called a diverticulum) develops in a weak area between the pharynx (throat) and upper esophagus (the food tube that reaches from the throat to the stomach). The pouch can interfere with swallowing, and food can get trapped it. Zenker’s diverticulum is more common in older people.
The cause of Zenker’s diverticulum is not completely understood. It may result from the esophagus producing excessive pressure to move food into the stomach or from a muscle (the cricopharyngeus muscle) that constricts the esophagus and does not relax properly during swallowing.
People with Zenker’s diverticulum experience a number of symptoms, including:
Several tests are used to diagnose Zenker’s diverticulum:
Several treatments are available for Zenker’s diverticulum, including the following:
You cannot prevent Zenker's diverticulum, but treatment options exist that are effective and safe.
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