Endoscopic cauterization of congenital pyriform fossa sinus tracts: An 18-year experience

Joel Y. Sun, Eric E. Berg, John E. McClay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


IMPORTANCE: Congenital pyriform fossa sinus tracts predispose to neck masses and neck abscesses in pediatric and occasionally adult patients. Traditional management involves open excision with substantial potential morbidity. Endoscopic management allows an alternative, less morbid treatment approach. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the long-term effectiveness of endoscopic cauterization as definitive treatment for pyriform fossa sinus tracts. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS: Retrospective review of the medical records of 23 children (aged 7 months to 14 years) with pyriform fossa sinus tracts treated with endoscopic cauterization between 1995 and 2013 at a tertiary care children's hospital. INTERVENTION: Endoscopic electrocauterization of pyriform fossa sinus tract opening. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Recurrence of symptoms after endoscopic treatment. RESULTS: Twenty-one of 23 patients experienced no recurrence after their first endoscopic electrocauterization of the sinus tract. The 2 patients with recurrence experienced symptoms within 1 month of cauterization and were treated with either open excision or recauterization. Endoscopic cauterization was able to definitively treat 9 patients whose treatments with incision and drainage or open excision had failed. Mean (range) follow-up for the 15 patients with follow-up was 7.4 (0.10-14.2) years. No procedure-related morbidity was reported. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Endoscopic cauterization seems to be an effective and potentially permanent treatment for congenital pyriform fossa sinus tracts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-117
Number of pages6
JournalJAMA Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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