Heller Myotomy for Achalasia

Achalasia is a disorder of swallowing, caused by deficiency of nerve endings in the esophagus. It can lead to a host of problems, including esophageal cancer. It is often treated with repeated balloon dilatations and/or botox injections. However, neither of these resolve the problem permanently, and balloon dilatations may result in esophageal perforation, a very undesirable situation.

Laparoscopic Heller myotomy is a well established and usually permanently effective surgical treatment for achalasia. Complication rates are very low. However, the procedure requires experience and special skills. Dr Kalan has been offering this treatment to patients since 1999, with very good results. 

Nowadays, robot assisted laparoscopic Heller myotomy is an added available option, for patients who may be interested. Use of the robot enhances the visual clarity of the dissection of the lower esophagus, which may enable a more complete division of the muscle fibers and reduce accidental injury to the esophageal mucosa. Use of the robot may also obviate the need for a routine fundoplication. 

Surgeon In Chief

 Dr. M. Kalan
 M.D., F.A.C.S., F.R.C.S.(London & Edinburgh)

Washington Institute of Surgery

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