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Achalasia is a rare disorder of the oesophagus, the muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. It occurs when the muscle at the bottom of the oesophagus, called the lower oesophageal sphincter, doesn’t relax properly, making it difficult for food and liquids to pass through to the stomach. The main symptoms of achalasia are difficulty swallowing, regurgitation, and chest pain.

Patient regurgitating

Surgical treatments for achalasia

The treatment of achalasia can vary depending on the severity of the condition. For mild cases, treatment may include lifestyle changes such as eating smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding foods that may cause difficulty swallowing. Medications such as calcium channel blockers and nitrates can also be used to relax the sphincter and make it easier to swallow.

In more severe cases, surgical treatment may be recommended. The most common surgical procedure for achalasia is a laparoscopic Heller myotomy. This procedure involves making several small incisions in the abdomen and using a laparoscope to cut the muscle of the sphincter, allowing food and liquids to pass through to the stomach more easily. The procedure is usually combined with a partial fundoplication, which is a procedure where the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the lower end of the oesophagus to prevent acid reflux.

Laparoscopic Heller myotomy is considered highly effective in treating achalasia and should provide nearly complete symptom relief. 


The outcome of surgical treatment varies and depends on various factors such as the stage and location of the cancer, the overall health of the patient and the expertise of the surgical team.

Recovery from surgery can take several weeks or even months, depending on the extent of the surgery. Pain and discomfort are common after the surgery, and patients will likely need to follow a special diet to help the healing process. They will also need to have regular follow-up appointments with Dr Lorenzo to monitor their recovery.