Pharyngeal pouch surgery

What is a pharyngeal pouch?

A pharyngeal pouch is a pocket that occurs at the top of the oesophagus, which can cause a lump in the throat, regurgitation of food and halitosis (bad breath). The pouch will very often go unnoticed but if it is pronounced it may require surgical correction.

What does treatment involve?

The surgery is performed endoscopically - with a long thin tube, attached to a microscope and stapling device - under general anaesthetic. The pouch is removed and the oesophagus sealed behind it with stitches.

When will I recover?

Patients should be able to return home after one or two days in hospital. For a few days after the surgery patients will have to follow a soft diet, and refrain from strenuous activity.

What risks should I know about?

The possible complications of any surgery can include an unexpected reaction to a general anaesthetic, excessive bleeding, developing a blood clot (usually in a vein in the lower leg, known as DVT - deep vein thrombosis) and infection. Signs of infection include uncontrolled pain, redness, swelling, oozing from wounds, and fever.