Achalasia hurts your ability to swallow. Getting the right achalasia treatment can change your life.
Surgery often provides the best chance for long-term improvement of your achalasia. We do offer other treatment options. We'll work with you to identify to best procedure for your individual situation.
Cutting the muscle between your esophagus and stomach can help you swallow. We can perform an open or laparoscopic Heller Myotomy. We can also do the POEM procedure.
Usually, we can perform this procedure using a camera and special instruments. This means we don't have to make big cuts into your abdomen.
This laparoscopic method means:
Shorter recovery time
A hospital stay of 1-2 days
If we have to perform heller myotomy as an open surgery, this requires cuts into your chest. The hospital stay may last a week.
Steps to Avoid Acid Reflux
About 15% of patients get acid reflux after myotomy. To avoid this, we make an extra cut to the lower part of your esophagus. This step lessens reflux and protects your esophagus.
Peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) uses an endoscope. This lighted tube allows us to access your lower esophagus through your mouth. We then make the necessary cuts to dysfunctional muscles.
The POEM procedure eliminates the need to cut into your throat or chest. It can take 1 - 3 hours to complete. Often, you won't need to stay overnight at the hospital.
Achalasia Treatment Without Surgery
We usually recommend surgery for achalasia treatment. But other treatments can help. These methods reduce pressure in your lower esophagus. This allows food to move more easily from your esophagus to your stomach.
Procedures to stretch and relax your lower esophagus include:
Pneumatic dilation with a balloon
These procedures carry risks. Sometimes, you'll need repeated dilations or injections. We may have to try medication to make them more effective.