Surgical Treatment of Achalasia in the 21st Century

Kristi L. Harold, Brent D. Matthews, Kent W. Kercher, Robert F. Sing, B. Todd Heniford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Achalasia is a primary motility disorder of the esophagus characterized by poor mid-esophageal motility and failure of the lower esophageal sphincter to properly relax. The optimal treatment of the disease would improve esophageal peristalsis and promote lower esophageal sphincter relaxation. Currently, such therapy is not possible, so treatment of the disorder is aimed at relief of symptoms by disruption of the lower esophageal sphincter. Methods: Data were collected prospectively on all patients undergoing laparoscopic myotomy and Toupet fundoplication during a 6-year period. Results: Fifty-nine patients with a mean age of 44 years were treated during a 6-year period. Fifty-three patients underwent laparoscopic myotomy with Toupet fundoplication (91%), and four had laparoscopic myotomy without a fundoplication (6%). Fundoplication was not performed in two patients who had a megaesophagus. Two patients required conversion to an open operation. Sixty percent of patients were discharged the day after surgery; the average length of stay for all patients was 2.1 days. Ten percent of patients had minor complications; none required reoperation. Mortality was 0%, and 96% of patients rated their postoperative swallowing ability as excellent or good. Conclusion: Surgical myotomy is becoming first-line therapy for all patients with achalasia. A strong working relationship between surgeon and gastroenterologist helps to optimize patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-10
Number of pages4
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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