Endoscopic CO2 laser management of chemoradiation-related cricopharyngeal stenosis

Natalie Silver, T. J. Gal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Treatment of head and neck cancer with chemoradiation (CRT) can result in strictures of the cervical esophagus, often at the level of the cricopharyngeus. The objective of this study is to assess the feasibility of endoscopic CO2 laser cricopharyngeal myotomy for stricture ablation in the setting of prior CRT. Methods: A retrospective review of patients who underwent endoscopic CO2 laser cricopharyngeal myotomy for dysphagia after radiation for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). Pre- and postoperative barium swallow and swallowing assessment were performed before and after surgery. Outcomes and complication rates were examined. Results: Endoscopic CO2 laser cricopharyngeal myotomy was performed in 10 patients with dysphagia secondary to cricopharyngeal stenosis/stricture, which developed following treatment for SCCHN with chemoradiation. All patients demonstrated radiographic improvement in stricture, with complete resolution of stricture in 9 of 10 patients. All patients noted improvement in dysphagia with 9 of 10 patients demonstrating significant advancement of diet by modified barium swallow. No complications were observed. Conclusion: Endoscopic CO 2 cricopharyngeal myotomy can be performed safely in the setting of prior CRT, with significant improvement in swallowing in select patients. Indications and technical considerations will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-256
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Carbon dioxide laser
  • Chemoradiation
  • Cricopharyngeal stenosis
  • Dysphagia
  • Myotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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