The cause is not always known. Esophageal diverticulum is more common in people with an esophageal motility disorder, such as achalasia.
- Regurgitation of previously eaten food
- Chest pain
- Foul breath
- Food getting “stuck”
- Upper GI (gastrointestinal) series, also called a barium swallow: This test looks at the organs of the top part of the digestive system. After you swallow a metallic fluid called barium, which coats the organs so they can be seen on an X-ray, a provider checks the food pipe (esophagus), stomach and first part of the small intestine (duodenum).
- Upper endoscopy or EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy): This test looks at the lining or inside of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The test is performed with an endoscope, a thin, lighted tube with a camera on the end. The endoscope is inserted into the mouth and throat. Then it goes into the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.
- CT scan
A surgeon can treat the underlying motility disorder and remove the diverticulum. If the diverticulum is small enough, cutting the abnormally closed sphincter will often make the diverticulum to disappear.