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What is Zenker's diverticulum?

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Quick Answer

Zenker's diverticulum is a condition in which a pouch develops in the neck of the upper esophagus, states Boston Medical Center. Food gets trapped in the pouch, making it difficult for the patient to swallow. Patients over 50 suffer Zenker's diverticulum most often, and it affects men more than women.

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Full Answer

Increased tension in the cricopharyngeus muscle, the muscle at the top of the esophagus, causes an obstruction that results in the condition. In Zenker's diverticulum cases, the size of the pouch determines whether the case is described as small, intermediate or large, notes Boston Medical Center. Symptoms include vomiting undigested food hours after a meal, feeling food stuck in the throat after a meal, and bad breath. As of 2015, the primary treatment options are to close or remove the pouch surgically. There are no medications to treat the condition.

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