Treatment options for achalasia include medications, endoscopic balloon dilation, injection of botulinum toxin, or surgery.
Dr Ronald Hinder and colleagues assessed the clinical course of minimally invasive Heller myotomy and partial fundoplication for achalasia.
The research team reviewed 75 consecutive patients between 1991 and 2001 by means of a questionnaire.
The mean follow-up time was 5 years, and 64% of questionnaires were returned.
The team found that 84% felt much better and 14% slightly better, while 2% rated the result as unchanged.
|16% had persistent swallowing problems and 11% reported frequent reflux|
|American Journal of Surgery|
A further 59% experienced weight gain.
The researchers noted that 16% had persistent swallowing problems and 11% reported frequent reflux.
The research team observed that 20% underwent additional therapy, including 18% for dilation, 5% for repeat surgery, and 5% for botulinum toxin injection.
In addition, 41% were using a proton pump inhibitor or H2 blocker, 7% were on a calcium channel blocker, and 2% used nitroglycerine.
Dr Hinder's team concluded, “Laparoscopic Heller myotomy can achieve short- and long-term results comparable to open surgery and should be considered the treatment of choice for patients suffering from achalasia.”
"Despite the frequent need for further therapy, patient satisfaction is good.”