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What is achalasia?
Achalasia is a condition where gullet (oesophagus) loses the ability to propel food in to the stomach. The condition is characterised by inability to relax lower oesophageal sphincter due to lack of nerve function. The muscle fibres turn thick and tight
What are the symptoms of achalasia?
Most common symptom is dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). Other symptoms include regurgitation of food, choking sensation, nocturnal cough and weight loss.
How is achalasia diagnosed?
Oesophageal manometry is the gold standard test to diagnose achalasia. It shows characteristic features. Other tests gastroscopy, barium meal and CT scan can give additional information.
How is Heller’s procedure carried out?
Heller’s procedure is carried out laparoscopic method. The procedure involves dissecting around the lower end of the oesophagus and splitting the muscle fibres for 6-
How long do I need to stay in the hospital following the surgery?
Do I need a special diet following the Heller’s procedure?
Yes, you will be given instructions by our dietician at the time of discharge. Sometimes you may need to take high energy drinks prior to the surgery.
What are the risks of Heller’s procedure?
Similar to other major laparoscopic procedures it can be associated with infection, bleeding, deep vein thrombosis (clot in the legs), pulmonary embolism (clot in the lungs), and damage to surrounding structures (almost zero percent in our record). Specific risks include recurrence of achalasia, failure to resolve symptoms and damage to oesophagus (very rare).
Do I need to take time off following the surgery?
Yes, we recommend two weeks off from work following the surgery. Some may need to take longer time off from work.
Heller’s procedure is carried out on a condition called Achalasia. This is a condition where lower end of the food pipe (oesophagus) fails to relax. Muscle fibres at the lower end of the oesophagus becomes very thick and very tight. Patients with achalasia suffer with difficulty in swallowing, acid reflux, chest pain and weight loss.
Heller’s procedure involves dividing muscle fibres along lower end of the oesophagus and in to the junction between the oesophagus and stomach. As releasing these fibres may cause increase in acid reflux, your surgeon may perform an anti-
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